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William Homer Thornberry (January 9, 1909 - December 12, 1995) was a United States Representative from the 10th congressional district of Texas from 1948 to 1963, and then was a federal judge.

Biography

Thornberry was born in Austin, Texas. His parents were teachers in the State School for the Deaf and were themselves deaf. He attended public schools in Austin, graduating from Austin High School in 1927. He received a BBA in 1932, and his law degree in 1936 from the University of Texas at Austin.

Homer Thornberry served as a Member of the Texas Legislature, a District Attorney in Travis County, Texas, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during World War II and a member of the Austin City Council.

Homer Thornberry was elected in 1948 to the 81st Session of the United States Congress as Representative of the 10th Congressional District of Texas. In winning the seat, he replaced its former occupant, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had been elected that year for the first time to the United States Senate. Congressman Thornberry was a member of the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives from January, 1955, until his resignation in 1963, when he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He was then appointed and commissioned by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a United States Circuit Judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1965, where he participated in decisions including many civil rights cases of the 1960s and 1970s.

Thornberry was nominated for Abe Fortas' seat on the Supreme Court by Lyndon B. Johnson when Johnson nominated Fortas to replace Earl Warren as Chief Justice. However, once Fortas withdrew his nomination in October 1968, Thornberry's nomination became moot and was withdrawn by the White House without a vote.

Judge Thornberry died at his home and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery on December 14, 1995.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
United States House of Representatives, Texas District 10
1948–1963
Succeeded by
J. J. Pickle (D)

References

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