E. Barrett Prettyman

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For the educator and Towson University president, see Elijah Barrett Prettyman.
E. Barrett Prettyman
Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
September 28, 1945 – April 16, 1962
Nominated by Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Justin Miller
Succeeded by J. Skelly Wright
Personal details
Born (1891-08-23)August 23, 1891
Lexington, Virginia
Died August 4, 1971(1971-08-04) (aged 79)

Elijah Barrett Prettyman (August 23, 1891 – August 4, 1971) was a United States federal judge.

Prettyman was born in Lexington, Virginia. Educated at Randolph-Macon College, he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1910 and a Master of Arts in 1911. He then earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1915. Prettyman began practicing law in Hopewell, Virginia in 1915. After serving as a captain in the United States Army during World War I, he spent the next 35 years either in private practice, working as a corporation counsel, or working for the U.S. Bureau of Internal Revenue (IRS). In particular, he was a special prosecutor for the IRS both in Washington, D.C. and New York City from 1919 to 1920, and later general counsel to the IRS from 1933 to 1934.

On September 12, 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed Prettyman to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the seat vacated by Judge Justin Miller. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 24, and received his commission on September 28. From 1958 to 1960, he served as Chief Judge of the court. He assumed senior status on April 16, 1962, and remained a senior judge until his death in 1971.

In March 1997, the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse was named in his honor. Years earlier, Prettyman had advocated the installment of the triangular 24-foot high monument, Trylon of Freedom, in front of the courthouse. Sculpted by Carl Paul Jennewein in 1954, the monument features excerpts and scenes from the nation’s founding documents.

Prettyman Drive in Rockville, Maryland was also named in his honor.


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Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Succeeded by
J. Skelly Wright