Frank J. Williams

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Frank Williams is in the center on right side

Frank J. Williams (born August 24, 1940) is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, a notable Abraham Lincoln scholar and author, and a Justice of the Military Commission Review Panel.[1][2]


Frank Williams was born in Richmond, Rhode Island in 1940 to Italian immigrants.[3] He graduated from Cranston East High School, Boston University and Boston University School of Law, and he received masters in taxation from Bryant University.

From 1962 to 1967, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany and Vietnam.

His military awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge and Bronze Star Medal, three Air Medals and the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two campaign stars the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with silver citation star and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal for his military service.[1][4]

He served as town moderator of Richmond, Rhode Island, and town solicitor. Governor Lincoln Almond appointed Williams to the Supreme Court in 1995. He was elevated to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 2001.

In 2003, President Bush appointed Williams through the Secretary of Defense to be a member of the United States Court of Military Commission Review.[1] As of July 2007, he replaced Griffin Bell as the Chief Judge.[2] He served as Chief Judge of the US Court of Military Commissions until December 2009.

He was a member of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and co-founded and for 16 years has chaired The Lincoln Forum. Williams was President of The Abraham Lincoln association and The Lincoln Group of Boston, and currently serves as President of The Ulysses S. Grant Association. In 2010 Williams was elected to the board of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. Justice Williams is an Associate Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, an organization founded by Union officers who served during the American Civil War, and is also a Veteran Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars. Williams was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2009 as a Bicentennial Laureate.

Frank J. Williams stepped down from the Rhode Island Supreme Court at the end of December 2009 and has lectured at several universities and institutes, most notably at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. Williams is also an accomplished amateur chef, having appeared as a guest on the cooking show, Ciao Italia, with Mary Ann Esposito.[5]


Frank J. Williams was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2009 as a Bicentennial Laureate.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Military Commission Review Panel Takes Oath of Office". Department of Defense. 2004-09-22. Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-11-02. Chief Justice Frank Williams, chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Williams was as an associate justice of the Superior Court of Rhode Island from 1995 to 2001. He served as an Army captain in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star for Valor. He earned his law degree from Boston University in 1970 and a master's degree in taxation from Bryant College in 1986.
  2. ^ a b Jason Jones. "Navy Judges Lend Expertise to the Court of Military Commission Review" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  3. ^ Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest LeaderBy Frank J. Williams, William D. Pederson, Mario M Cuomo, pg. 17 j. williams italian&f=false
  4. ^
  5. ^ Chief Justice Frank Williams steps down, "The Chariho Times" (December 23, 2008).
  6. ^ "Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-03-07.

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