John Warner Fitzgerald

John Warner Fitzgerald

John Warner Fitzgerald

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John Warner Fitzgerald (November 14, 1924–July 7, 2006) was a lawyer, member of the Michigan Senate, and chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Fitzgerald was born in Grand Ledge, Michigan, the son of Frank Dwight Fitzgerald, Governor of Michigan, 1935-1936 and 1939, when he died in office. He was the grandson of John Wesley Fitzgerald, State Representative from Eaton County's 1st District, 1895-1896.

Fitzgerald graduated from Grand Ledge High School in 1942, and continued his education with a bachelors degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He also studied at Princeton University and the University of Arizona.

Fitzgerald served with the United States Army Infantry during World War II. After the war, he was the legal counsel for the Michigan Senate from 1955 until 1958. He then ran for a seat in the state Senate himself and represented the 15th District from 1958 until 1962. Fitzgerald returned to private practice in the firm of Fitzgerald and Wirbel until 1964, when he was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which had been newly created under the Michigan Constitution of 1963. He remained on the Court of Appeals until appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court on January 1, 1974. He sat on the high court for eight years, and in 1982, his last year on court, served as Chief Justice. Among his landmark decisions, People v Aaron, 409 Mich 472 299 NW2d 304 (1979), he is known for abrogating the state's...
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