John Paul Stevens (1920-2019) was an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, nominated by President Gerald Ford in 1975. Although Stevens was widely considered to be on the liberal side of the court, Ford praised Stevens in 2005, saying, "He is serving his nation well, with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns."
Stevens was born on April 20, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois. He obtained his B.A. in English from the University of Chicago in 1941 and began work on his master's degree, but soon decided to join the United States Navy and served as a Lieutenant Commander from 1942-1945 during World War II.
After the end of World War II, Stevens enrolled in the Northwestern University School of Law in 1945 and received his J.D. in 1947. After law school, Stevens served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge. Next, Stevens joined the law firm of Poppenhusen, Johnston, Thompson & Raymond in Chicago.
In 1951, Stevens returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as Associate Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the age of 32, Stevens started a law firm with two other young lawyers. Called Rothschild, Stevens, Barry & Myers and based in Chicago, at this firm Stevens concentrated on antitrust cases. Due to his growing expertise in antitrust law, he was asked to teach the "Competition and Monopoly" course at the University of Chicago Law School. He also performed as a member of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study Antitrust Law.
President Richard Nixon nominated Stevens to the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on September 22, 1970. He served in this capacity until President Gerald Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on November 28, 1975, to replace Justice William O. Douglas.
Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, at which point he was the third longest serving Justice in history. He died at the age of 99 on July 16, 2019.