Shirley Hufstedler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shirley Hufstedler
Shirley Hufstedler, November 12, 2007.jpg
1st United States Secretary of Education
In office
November 30, 1979 – January 20, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Terrel Bell
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
September 12, 1968 – November 30, 1979
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Robert Boochever
Personal details
Born (1925-08-24) August 24, 1925 (age 90)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Stanford University

Shirley Ann Mount Hufstedler (born August 24, 1925) is an American lawyer and judge who served as the first United States Secretary of Education, under President Jimmy Carter.


Shirley Mount Hufstedler was born August 24, 1925 in Denver, Colorado.[1] As a teenager she was befriended by famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle after her father built the Pyle house in Albuquerque.[2] She attended the University of New Mexico (B.B.A. 1945) and Stanford Law School (LL.B. 1949).[1][3]

Hufstedler has had a distinguished career at the highest levels of legal and public service. She began in private practice in Los Angeles in 1950. From 1960 to 1961, she served as Special Legal Consultant to the Attorney General of California in the complex Colorado River litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court.[4] In 1961, she was appointed Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court,[1] a position to which she was elected in 1962.

In 1966, she was appointed Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal.[1] President Lyndon Johnson appointed her Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1968.[1] She was not the first woman to serve on a federal Court of Appeals, but for at least part of her tenure was the only woman serving among approximately 100 judges nationwide. She served on the Court of Appeals for eleven years before President Jimmy Carter appointed her to be the first U.S. Secretary of Education in 1979.[4]

In 1979, the Supersisters trading card set was produced and distributed; one of the cards featured Hufstedler's name and picture.[5]

In 1981, Hufstedler returned to private life, teaching and practicing law. She was a partner in the firm Hufstedler & Kaus, now merged into Morrison & Foerster. She is the recipient of 20 honorary doctoral degrees from American universities. She has served on boards of trustees, governing boards and visiting committees for numerous foundations, institutions, corporations and universities.

Hufstedler was considered to be a candidate for the Supreme Court if a vacancy had occurred under a Jimmy Carter presidency.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sobel, Robert (1990). Biographical Directory of the United States Executive Branch, 1774-1989. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-313-26593-8. 
  2. ^ Connell, Christopher (May 4, 1980). "Education chief background rich". Tuscaloosa News. AP. 
  3. ^ "Ms Shirley Mount Hufstedler, Attorney". Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Vile, John R. (2003). Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 558. ISBN 978-1-57607-989-8. 
  5. ^ Wulf, Steve (2015-03-23). "Supersisters: Original Roster". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  6. ^ Newman, Roger K. (2009). The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law. Yale University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-300-11300-6. 
  7. ^ Biskupic, Joan (2005). Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice. Ecco Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-06-059018-5. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Succeeded by
Robert Boochever
Political offices
New office United States Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Terrel Bell