John Thomas Curtin

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John Thomas Curtin
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York
In office
July 1, 1989 – April 14, 2017
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York
In office
1974–1989
Preceded by John Oliver Henderson
Succeeded by Michael Anthony Telesca
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York
In office
December 14, 1967 – July 1, 1989
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Seat established by 80 Stat. 75
Succeeded by William M. Skretny
Personal details
Born (1921-08-24)August 24, 1921
Buffalo, New York
Died April 14, 2017(2017-04-14) (aged 95)
Buffalo, New York
Education Canisius College B.S.
University of Buffalo Law School LL.B.

John Thomas Curtin (August 24, 1921 – April 14, 2017) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.

Early life and military service[edit]

Born in Buffalo, New York, Curtin was in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. He flew 35 combat missions during the war and survived a crash landing in the Pacific. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Canisius College in 1946 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1949. He was in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1952 to 1954. Curtin was in private practice in Buffalo from 1949 to 1961, and was then the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York from 1961 to 1967.

Judiciary career[edit]

On November 28, 1967, Curtin was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of New York created by 80 Stat. 75. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 14, 1967, and received his commission the same day. He served as chief judge from 1974 to 1989, assuming senior status on July 1, 1989.

In 1976, Curtin ruled on the case Arthur v. Nyquist, which effected the integration of the Buffalo Public School District. He ruled that schools were "deliberately segregated" and that they would need to begin desegregation efforts immediately. The plaintiffs in this case were a group of concerned parents and Buffalo Common Council member George Arthur. The defendants were the Buffalo Public School District, the City of Buffalo and New York State Commissioner of Education Ewald Nyquist.

Retirement and death[edit]

Curtin took inactive senior status on April 12, 2016, at the age of 94.[1] He died on April 14, 2017, at the age of 95, in Buffalo, New York. He was survived by his wife, Jane Good, whom he married in 1952, as well as seven children.[2]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Oliver Henderson
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York
1974–1989
Succeeded by
Michael Anthony Telesca
Preceded by
Seat established by 80 Stat. 75
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York
1967–1989
Succeeded by
William M. Skretny