Joseph Tyree Sneed, III

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Joseph Tyree Sneed, III
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
August 24, 1973 – July 21, 1987
Appointed by Richard M. Nixon
Preceded by Frederick George Hamley
Succeeded by Stephen S. Trott
United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
February 1973 – August 24, 1973
President Richard M. Nixon
Preceded by Ralph E. Erickson
Succeeded by William Ruckelshaus
Personal details
Born Joseph Tyree Sneed, III
(1920-07-21)July 21, 1920
Calvert, Texas, U.S.
Died February 9, 2008(2008-02-09) (aged 87)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Madelon Montross Juergens
Children Carly Fiorina
Clara Sneed
Joseph Sneed IV
Alma mater Southwestern University (B.A)
University of Texas School of Law (LL.B.)
Harvard Law School (S.J.D.)
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg U.S. Army Air Corps
Years of service 1942-1946
Rank US Army WWII SSGT.png Staff Sergeant

Joseph Tyree Sneed, III (July 21, 1920 – February 9, 2008) was a Republican U.S. Deputy Attorney General and then a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for nearly 35 years until his death. He was the father of former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

Early life[edit]

Sneed was born in Calvert, Texas (near Bryan-College Station), the son of Cara Carlton (Weber) and Harold Marvin Sneed, a rancher and landowner.[1][2] He spent his youth working summers as a cowboy on his uncle's ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

World War II service[edit]

He earned his undergraduate degree from Southwestern University in 1941 and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps during World War II.


He attended the University of Texas School of Law, where he received his LL.B., Order of the Coif in 1947. The school offered him an assistant professor position upon graduation. He became an associate professor in 1951 and was made a full professor in 1954. The law school subsequently established an endowed scholarship in his name. Sneed spent 10 years on the faculty of his law school alma mater.[citation needed]

Sneed received an Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School in 1958.

Sneed moved on to teach at Cornell Law School from 1957 to 1962, Stanford Law School from 1962 to 1971 (two of Sneed's colleagues on the Ninth Circuit bench, Judges Pamela A. Rymer and Raymond C. Fisher, both studied tax law under him at Stanford), and Duke University School of Law from 1971 to 1973, where he was Dean. Sneed then briefly served in the United States Department of Justice as Deputy Attorney General in 1973 before his nomination to the federal bench.[citation needed]

Judicial service[edit]

Sneed was nominated by President Richard Nixon to a seat vacated by Frederick G. Hamley on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 25, 1973, was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 1973, and received his judicial commission on August 24, 1973. He served as an active judge of the court until taking senior status on July 21, 1987. He continued to hear cases and serve the court in other capacities for many more years. At the time of his death, he was the fourth most senior judge on the court.

Over his long career, Judge Sneed served on advisory committees to the Ninth Circuit, the Federal Judicial Center, the American Judicature Society and the American Bar Association. He also served as the President of the Association of American Law Schools for 1968.

Sneed was part of a three-judge panel that replaced Whitewater special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske with Kenneth Starr in 1994.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Sneed was married to Madelon Juergens Sneed, a portrait and abstract artist, who died before him. Together they had a son and two daughters, including former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina. He died in San Francisco, California, aged 87.


  1. ^ "Descendants of Nicholas Perkins of Virginia". 
  2. ^ "The American Bench". 
  3. ^ "Joseph Sneed dies - longtime 9th Circuit judge". SFGate. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph E. Erickson
U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Served under: Richard Nixon

Succeeded by
William Ruckelshaus