George P. Kazen

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George Philip Kazen
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Assumed office
May 31, 2009
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
In office
May 11, 1979 – May 31, 2009
Preceded by seat created
Succeeded by Diana Saldaña
Personal details
Born (1940-02-29) February 29, 1940 (age 77)
Laredo, Webb County, Texas, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Barbara Ann Sanders Kazen (died March 2011)

George Douglas Kazen
John Kazen
Elizabeth Ann Kazen Flores

Gregory Stephen Kazen
Alma mater

University of Texas

University of Texas Law School
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

George Philip Kazen (born February 29, 1940) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.


Born on Leap Day, 1940, Kazen resides in his native Laredo in Webb County, Texas. His parents were E. James Kazen (December 27, 1912 – February 25, 2003) and the former Drusilla Marie Perkins (October 10, 1917 – December 10, 2011), a native of Sioux City, Iowa. James and Drusilla met at the University of Texas at Austin, where both were students. James Kazen was subsequently a long-term Democratic district attorney and district judge for the 49th Judicial District of Texas. Drusilla Kazen, known as "Duchess" Kazen, was the daughter of Samuel Julien Perkins and the former Marion McDermott. She was the last surviving grandchild of Republican U.S. Representative George D. Perkins, also the publisher of the Sioux City Journal. Drusilla Kazen was a dancer who studied under Valentina, noted dancer, actress, and fashion designer.[1]


In 1960, George Kazen received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas. In 1961, he obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law, at which he was admitted to Chancellors, an honor society considered more prestigious than the Order of the Coif and located only at the UT Law School. Previous Laredoans inducted into Chancellors were Robert L. Bobbitt in 1912 and Ed S. Mann in 1923.[2]

He was a briefing attorney for the Texas Supreme Court from 1961 to 1962, and was from 1962 to 1965 a captain in the U.S. Air Force, Judge Advocate General Corps. He was in the private practice of law in Laredo from 1965 to 1979.

On March 7, 1979, Kazen was nominated by U.S. President Jimmy Carter to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas created by 92 Stat. 1629. On May 10, 1979, Kazen was confirmed by the United States Senate, and he received his commission of office the following day. He served as chief judge from 1996 to 2003. Kazen served as a member of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 2003 to 2010. He assumed senior status on May 31, 2009. Since 1990, Kazen has also been an adjunct professor of law at St. Mary's University Law School in San Antonio, Texas, where his mother lived in her later years.

In 1961, Kazen married the former Barbara Ann Sanders (January 3, 1941 - March 15, 2011), a civic leader originally from Albany, Texas.[3] She was known for her humanitarian efforts, including the promotion of the American Cancer Society, United Way, the Laredo Homeless Coalition, and Bethany House, a downtown settlement house, which provides meals and temporary housing for the indigent. She was director of Bethany House from 1996 until her death of brain cancer at the age of seventy. Kazen also has a sister named Barbara Anne Kazen, but with a different spelling of the middle name; she resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His three other siblings are Virginia Kazen Van Steenberg of San Antonio, James Douglas Kazen of Boerne, Texas, and Felisa Kazen of New York City.[1]

U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U. S. Representative Henry Cuellar have proposed that the U.S. District Court Building in Laredo next to the Webb County Courthouse be named in Kazen's honor.

Kazen has four children, George Douglas Kazen, John Kazen, Elizabeth Ann Kazen Flores, and Gregory Stephen Kazen. Judge Kazen is Roman Catholic.[4][5]

Kazen's uncle, Abraham Kazen, was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1967 to 1985, until he was unseated in the primary election by Albert Bustamante of San Antonio.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Representative Henry Cuellar have proposed that the U. S. District Court building in Laredo, next to the Webb County Courthouse, be named in Kazen's honor.[6]


  1. ^ a b Obituary of Drusilla Marie Perkins Kazen, Laredo Morning Times, December 15, 2011, p. 11A
  2. ^ Nancy Santos (May 28, 2016). "Laredoan admitted to prestigious honor society". the Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Senate Resolution No. 555: In Memory of Barbara Ann Kazen". Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Nick Georgiou, "Burial Mass for [Barbara] Kazen is today," Laredo Morning Times, March 19, 2011, p. 3A
  5. ^ Cesar G. Rodriguez, "A lifetime of giving celebrated," Laredo Morning Times, March 20, 2011, pp. 1, 14A
  6. ^ "Kazen eyed for honor", Laredo Morning Times, February 24, 2015, p. 3A


Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Succeeded by
Diana Saldaña