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William Cole
Born (1889-05-11)May 11, 1889
Towson, Maryland, U.S.
Died September 22, 1957(1957-09-22) (aged 68)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Predecessor Joseph Jackson
Successor Isaac Martin
Political party Democratic

William Purington Cole Jr. (May 11, 1889 – September 22, 1957) was an American jurist and politician. From 1927 to 1929 and from 1931 to 1942, Cole was a U.S. Congressman who represented the second district of Maryland. He later served as a Judge for the United States Customs Court and the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Cole was born in Towson, Maryland, and graduated as a civil engineer from Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland, College Park) in 1910. He also studied law at the University of Maryland School of Law, was admitted to the bar in 1912, and commenced practice the same year. During World War I, Cole was commissioned as first lieutenant in the United States Army in November 1917. He was assigned to the 316th Regiment of Infantry, 79th Division at Fort Meade, and served overseas. He resumed the practice of law in 1919 in Towson. Cole served as a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution from 1940 to 1943, and was named a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland, College Park in 1931, becoming chairman of the board in 1944.[1][2]

Congressional service[edit | edit source]

In 1926, Cole was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Congress, serving one full term from March 4, 1927, to March 3, 1929. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1928, and resumed the practice of law in Towson. He was again elected to Congress in 1930, and this time served from March 4, 1931, until his resignation on October 26, 1942 to accept a judicial post.[3]

Federal Judicial Service[edit | edit source]

On May 11, 1942, President Roosevelt nominated Cole to serve as a Judge for the United States Customs Court, to the seat vacated by Judge George Stewart Brown. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 11, 1942 and received his commission on May 14, 1942. He served on the court until his elevation to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and was succeeded by Judge David John Wilson. On July 4, 1952, President Truman nominated him to serve as an Associate Judge for the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, to the seat vacated by Judge Joseph Raymond Jackson. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 5, 1952 and received his commission on July 7, 1952, serving on the court until his death. He was succeeded on the court by Judge Isaac Jack Martin.[4]

Death[edit | edit source]

Cole died on September 22, 1957, in Baltimore, Maryland.[5] He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.[6]

Cole Field House at the University of Maryland, College Park, is named in his honor.[7]

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • W at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • William Purrington Cole at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Millard Tydings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd congressional district

1927–1929
Succeeded by
Linwood Clark
Preceded by
Linwood Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd congressional district

1931–1942
Succeeded by
Streett Baldwin
Legal offices
Preceded by
George Brown
Judge of the United States Customs Court
1942–1952
Succeeded by
David Wilson
Preceded by
Joseph Jackson
Associate Judge of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
1952–1957
Succeeded by
Isaac Martin

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