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Gerald Heaney

U.S. Army ranger, politician, attorney, and judge

Died when: 92 years 144 days (1108 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius


Gerald Heaney

Gerald William Heaney (January 29, 1918 – June 22, 2010) served for nearly forty years as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, from his appointment by President Lyndon B.

Johnson in November 1966 until his full retirement in August 2006.Heaney's career in public service began in 1941, upon graduation from law school.

He soon enlisted in the United States Army, volunteered for the United States Rangers, and soon became a second lieutenant in the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

Heaney's endurance as a judge was related to his endurance as a Ranger; of the hundreds of members of the Second Ranger Battalion who landed at Normandy on the early hours of D-Day, Heaney was one of only three still on the front lines with the Rangers on VE Day.

Between the end of World War II and his appointment to the federal bench, he rewrote the Free State of Bavaria's labor laws, and was a valued political advisor and organizer for several liberal Democratic politicians, including Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, Orville Freeman, Eugene McCarthy, and Walter Mondale.

As an appellate court judge, Heaney typically favored broad interpretations of the Bill of Rights and civil rights, labor and employment rights statutes.

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