Kathryn J. DuFour

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Kathryn J. DuFour (March 19, 1910 — February 4, 2005)[1] was the first female judge in the Maryland Circuit Courts. The law library at The Catholic University of America is named in her honor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, DuFour was a teenage actress, playing small roles for MGM and Fox Studios, until her mother forced her to stop acting and finish high school. After marrying a trial attorney and moving to Maryland, DuFour pursued law herself, graduating from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1935. After law school, she worked as a private attorney and for the Legal Aid Bureau and raised two children.[2]


In 1950, she was elected to the Montgomery County Council. In 1953, she was appointed to the Maryland General Assembly by Governor Theodore McKeldin. In 1955, she was appointed as a judge in the Maryland Sixth Judicial Circuit Court. In 1967, she became the first female chief judge on the same circuit.


  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (February 10, 2005). "Pioneering Judge Kathryn DuFour Dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Maryland Women's Hall of Fame: Kathryn J. DuFour". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 11 March 2014.