Robert P. Patterson
Robert Porter Patterson Sr. (February 12, 1891 – January 22, 1952) was an American judge who served as Under Secretary of War under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and U.S. Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. He was a US circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after he had been a district judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Education and career
Born on February 12, 1891, in Glens Falls, New York, the son of Lodice Edna (née Porter) and Charles Robert Patterson, Patterson received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1912 from Union College and a Bachelor of Laws in 1915 from Harvard Law School. He entered private practice in New York City from 1915 to 1916, with what today is the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, also serving with that firm in subsequent periods of private practice. He served in the New York Army National Guard from 1916 to 1917. He served in the United States Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of Major. He received the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star for heroism in France. Patterson served in the 306th Infantry Regiment which was assigned to the 77th Infantry Division. He returned to private practice in New York City from 1919 to 1930.
Federal judicial service
Patterson was nominated by President Herbert Hoover on April 24, 1930, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge Thomas D. Thacher. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 13, 1930, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on March 22, 1939, due to his elevation to the Second Circuit.
Patterson was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 9, 1939, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated by Judge Martin Thomas Manton. He was confirmed by the Senate on March 20, 1939, and received his commission on March 21, 1939. His service terminated on July 30, 1940, due to his resignation.
War Department service
Patterson served as a United States Assistant Secretary of War in 1940. He served as United States Under Secretary of War from 1940 to 1945 under Secretary Henry L. Stimson. He was instrumental in the mobilization of the armed forces preparatory to and during World War II. President Harry S. Truman appointed Patterson as United States Secretary of War in 1945. Truman initially was set to offer Patterson a seat on the United States Supreme Court which was left vacant by Justice Owen J. Roberts, however, with the resignation of Henry L. Stimson, Patterson instead became the Secretary of War. Patterson advocated unifying the armed services (army and navy) and having a single chief of staff. Steps to this effect were begun by the National Security Act of 1947 and revised several times, finally by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986.
Patterson worked to promote more black participation and promotion with in the military, specifically during the late stages of World War II. He was instrumental in creating an African-American fighter group, known now as the Tuskegee airmen. While sympathetic to black grievances, aspirations, and recommendations he was concerned that radical change would impede military preparedness during war. After the war the "Board for Utilization of Negro Manpower" (or Gillem Board). released a report, "Utilization of Negro Manpower in the Postwar Army Policy", in April 1946. that was signed off by Patterson: it recommended the retention of segregation, as that was a policy external to the military, but that the military introduce equal opportunity, as that would be the best use of military manpower. Patterson served until 1947.
After declining an offer by President Truman to be reappointed to his former judgeship, Patterson returned to private practice in New York City from 1947 to 1952, Later he became the President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the President of the Council on Foreign Relations.
On January 3, 1920, Patterson married Margaret Tarleton Winchester (March 12, 1897 - March 28, 1988); they had four children: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., Aileen W. Patterson, Susan H. Patterson and Virginia D. Patterson. Robert P. Patterson Jr. was a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, until his death in 2015.
Patterson housed William L. Marbury Jr., at his Georgetown home. After the war, he recommended Marbury to succeed him at the United Nations; upon advice from Alger Hiss, Marbury declined. (Marbury soon thereafter represented Hiss in his slander case against Whittaker Chambers.)
Patterson died on January 22, 1952, returning from meeting a client, onboard American Airlines Flight 6780 which crashed on the approach to Newark Airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey; he was age 60.
In 2012, the University of Tennessee Press published The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War, edited by J. Garry Clifford.
In 2014, the University of Tennessee Press published his previously unpublished 1947 memoir Arming the Nation for War, with a foreword by Robert M. Morgenthau, former Manhattan district attorney, and edited by Brian Waddell, associate professor at the University of Connecticut.
- The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War (2012)
- Arming the Nation for War: Mobilization, Supply, and the American War Effort in World War II (2014)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Robert Porter Patterson Sr. at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- ^ a b Sterner, Doug. "Valor awards for Robert Porter Patterson". Military Times Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- ^ Herman, Arthur. Fredom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 157, 161, 165-6, 175, 236, 238-9, 284-5, 288, Random House, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
- ^ Eiler, op. cit. p 443-444
- ^ History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The formative years, 1947-1950. Government Printing Office. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-0-16-087640-0.
- ^ "TASK OF OCCUPATION DECLARED IN PERIL; Patterson at Dinner Honoring War Correspondents Says More Appropriations Are Needed". The New York Times. Washington DC. 1946-11-23. p. 28. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
- ^ The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. (November 1945). The Crisis. The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 324–.
- ^ Keith E. Eiler (18 October 2018). Mobilizing America: Robert P. Patterson and the War Effort, 1940–1945. Cornell University Press. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-1-5017-2387-2.
- ^ Cora Sol Goldstein (1 August 2009). Capturing the German Eye: American Visual Propaganda in Occupied Germany. University of Chicago Press. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-0-226-30171-6.
- ^ Gary J. Clifford; Robert Porter Patterson (7 February 2012). The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War. Univ. of Tennessee Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-1-57233-882-1.
- ^ Robert Porter Patterson Jr. at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- ^ Marbury, Jr., William L. (1981). "The Hiss-Chambers Libel Suit". Maryland Historical Magazine. 76 (1): 74 (Georgetown), 76 (UN job). Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- Eiler, Keith. (1997) Mobilizing America: Robert P. Patterson and the War Effort, 1940-1945. Cornell University Press.
- Robert Porter Patterson Sr. at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- 1891 births
- 1952 deaths
- People from Glens Falls, New York
- Lawyers from New York City
- Military personnel from New York (state)
- United States Army personnel of World War I
- Union College (New York) alumni
- Harvard Law School alumni
- Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- United States district court judges appointed by Herbert Hoover
- Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States court of appeals judges appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt
- 20th-century American judges
- United States Secretaries of War
- Recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
- United States Army officers
- Victims of aviation accidents or incidents in 1952
- Victims of aviation accidents or incidents in the United States
- Accidental deaths in New Jersey
- Presidents of the New York City Bar Association
- Truman administration cabinet members
- 20th-century American politicians
- United States Assistant Secretaries of War
- Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler people