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John W. Reynolds, Jr.

Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

In office
October 21, 1965 – August 31, 1986
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Kenneth Philip Grubb
Succeeded by Joseph Peter Stadtmueller
36th Governor of Wisconsin

In office
January 7, 1963 – January 4, 1965
Lieutenant Jack B. Olson
Preceded by Gaylord Nelson
Succeeded by Warren P. Knowles
34th Attorney General of Wisconsin

In office
January 5, 1959 – January 7, 1963
Governor Gaylord Nelson
Preceded by Stewart G. Honeck
Succeeded by Robert W. Warren
Personal details
Born John Whitcome Reynolds Jr.
(1921-04-04)April 4, 1921
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Died January 6, 2002(2002-01-06) (aged 80)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Ann Brady, 1947–1967 (her death); Jane Conway, 1971–2002 (his death)
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942–1946
Rank First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II

John Whitcome Reynolds Jr. (April 4, 1921 – January 6, 2002) was an American politician and federal judge. A Democrat,[1] he served as the 36th Governor of Wisconsin.

Early life[]

Reynolds was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the son of Madge (Flatley) and John W. Reynolds Sr.[2] After serving in the United States Army from 1942 to 1946, he received a Ph.B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1946 and an LL.B. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1949.


Reynolds was a district director for the U.S. Office of Price Stabilization from 1951 to 1953. He then served as a U.S. Commissioner for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1953 to 1958.

Reynolds was elected Attorney General of Wisconsin, serving in that role from 1959 to 1963. In November 1962 he was elected Governor of Wisconsin, serving from 1963 to 1965.

Reynolds opposed segregationist George Wallace in the 1964 Democratic presidential primaries who would otherwise have run unopposed, as Lyndon Johnson refused to say he was in the race. Like the other "favorite sons" who ran in Johnson's place (such as Matthew E. Welsh and Daniel Brewster), he won his state's primaries. As is required, Wisconsin delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention voted for Reynolds on the first ballot, then voted for Johnson.

On October 13, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to a seat vacated by Kenneth P. Grubb. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 21, 1965 and received his commission the same day. He served as chief judge from 1971 to 1986. As a judge, he ordered the desegregation of Milwaukee's schools in 1976.[3] Reynolds assumed senior status on August 31, 1986, and he served until his death.

Personal life[]

In 1947, he married Patricia Ann Brady, who preceded him in death in 1967, and in 1971, he married Jane C. Conway.


Reynolds died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at 80 from complications from heart disease.[4]


External links[]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Stewart G. Honeck
Attorney General of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
George Thompson
Political offices
Preceded by
Gaylord Nelson
Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Warren P. Knowles
Legal offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Philip Grubb
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Joseph Peter Stadtmueller

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