Died when: 90 years 112 days
Star Sign: Scorpio
Harry Andrew Blackmun (November 12, 1908 – March 4, 1999) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1970 until 1994. Appointed by Republican President Richard Nixon, Blackmun ultimately became one of the most liberal justices on the Court. He is best known as the author of the Court's opinion in Roe v. Wade, which prohibits many state and federal restrictions on abortion. Raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Blackmun graduated from Harvard Law School in 1932. He practiced law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, representing clients such as the Mayo Clinic. In 1959, he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. After the defeat of two previous nominees, President Richard Nixon successfully nominated Blackmun to the Supreme Court to replace Associate Justice Abe Fortas. Blackmun and his close friend, conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger, were often referred to as the "Minnesota Twins", but Blackmun drifted away from Burger during their tenure on the court. Blackmun retired from the Court during the administration of President Bill Clinton, and was succeeded by Stephen Breyer. Aside from Roe v. Wade, notable majority opinions written by Blackmun include Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, Bigelow v. Commonwealth of Virginia, and Stanton v. Stanton. He joined part of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey but also filed a separate opinion, warning that Roe was in jeopardy. He wrote dissenting opinions in notable cases such as Furman v. Georgia, Bowers v. Hardwick, and DeShaney v. Winnebago County.