Phil S. Gibson

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Phil Sheridan Gibson (November 28, 1888 – April 28, 1984) was the 22nd Chief Justice of California.


Gibson was born in Grant City, Missouri on November 28, 1888.[1] He was the son of W. J. (William Jesse) and Mollie (Huntsman) Gibson.[2] He attended the University of Missouri, graduating in 1912 with both an AB and LLB. He moved to Los Angeles in 1922, establishing a practice and becoming active in Democratic politics. He served as a campaign advisor to Culbert Olson in 1938, and the governor rewarded him with the position of Director of Finance, and then in 1939, with an appointment to the Supreme Court of California. He served as Chief Justice from 1940 to 1964.

Gibson's lengthy tenure was notable for his efforts to modernize the administration of the courts, to set up a mechanism to remove unfit judges, and to supply the Supreme Court with a staff of research attorneys. Gibson's court was highly respected nationally, both for Gibson's opinions and for those of Justice Roger J. Traynor.[3]

Gibson died in Monterey County, California on April 28, 1984.


  1. ^ "In Memoriam" (PDF). California Supreme Court Historical Society. 1986. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Family History
  3. ^ The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, Roger K. Newman, 2009, p. 219-220
Legal offices
Preceded by
William H. Waste
Chief Justice of California
Succeeded by
Roger J. Traynor