Charles H. Leavy

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Charles Leavy
Leavy in April 1940
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
In office
August 31, 1952 – September 25, 1952
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
In office
February 25, 1942 – August 31, 1952
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byEdward E. Cushman
Succeeded byGeorge Hugo Boldt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1937 – August 1, 1942
Preceded bySamuel B. Hill
Succeeded byWalt Horan
Personal details
BornCharles Henry Leavy
(1884-02-16)February 16, 1884
York, Pennsylvania
DiedSeptember 25, 1952(1952-09-25) (aged 68)
Tacoma, Washington
Cause of deathHeart ailment
Resting placeMountain View Memorial Park
Tacoma, Washington
Nationality United States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pearl Williams Leavy[1]
Children2 sons
Charles W. Leavy
James Leavy (d.1987)[2]
ResidenceTacoma, Washington
Veradale and various locations in eastern Washington
Alma materKansas City School of Law,
Bellingham Normal School
ProfessionJudge, Lawyer, Educator

Charles Henry Leavy (February 16, 1884 – September 25, 1952) was a congressman from eastern Washington and a federal judge.[1]

Born on a farm near York, Pennsylvania, Leavy moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his parents in 1887. He attended the public schools of Missouri and the Warrensburg Normal School, the Bellingham Normal School in western Washington, and the Kansas City School of Law in Missouri. Leavy taught school in Missouri near Independence from 1903 to 1906, and in eastern Washington at Everson, Touchet, Kahlotus, and Connell from 1906 to 1913.

Leavy studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1912 and commenced practice in Newport in northeast Washington. He served as prosecuting attorney of Pend Oreille County from 1915 to 1918, and moved south to Spokane in 1918, where he was special assistant U.S. district attorney for eastern Washington 1918-1921. He was prosecuting attorney of Spokane County from 1922 to 1926 (one of his deputy prosecutors was Edward M. Connelly), until elected a judge[3] of the superior court of the State of Washington in November 1926,[4] where he served ten years. He ran for the open U.S. Senate seat of Clarence Dill in 1934,[5] but was unsuccessful in the primary against Lewis B. Schwellenbach,[6] a Seattle attorney raised in Spokane, who easily won the general election over Reno Odlin of Olympia.[7]

Leavy ran for an open seat in Congress in 1936 and was easily elected from Washington's 5th district as a Democrat. Re-elected in 1938 and 1940, Leavy's publicly stated ambition was to become a federal judge,[8] and he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Tacoma.[9][10] Leavy resigned his house seat on August 1, 1942, and served ten years on the court, until his retirement on September 1, 1952. He had been diagnosed with a heart condition for over a year, and had a second paralytic stroke on September 11.[1] Leavy died in Tacoma, September 25, 1952, and was interred in Mountain View Memorial Park in Tacoma.


  1. ^ a b c "Federal judge Charles Leavy dies in Tacoma". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. September 25, 1952. p. 1.
  2. ^ "Longtime Pasco attorney James Leavy died June 25". Tri-City Herald. Washington. July 9, 1987. p. B4.
  3. ^ "Charles Leavy leads in poll of lawyers". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. September 3, 1926. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Charles Leavy becomes judge". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. November 16, 1926. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Charles Leavy tosses his hat in Senate race". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. July 12, 1934. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Schwellenbach ahead of Leavy in race for Senate nomination". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. September 12, 1934. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Schwellenbach beats Odlin". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. November 7, 1934. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Leavy is willing to mount bench of U.S. court". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. August 29, 1939. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Leavy is expected to become judge". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. October 15, 1941. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Leavy judgeship question held up". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. December 31, 1941. p. 3.


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel B. Hill
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Walt Horan
Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward E. Cushman
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Succeeded by
George Hugo Boldt