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Elbert Tuttle

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Title: Elbert Tuttle  
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Subject: Punahou School, Cornell Law Review, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Fifth Circuit Four, Tuttle (surname)
Collection: 1897 Births, 1996 Deaths, American Military Personnel of World War I, American Military Personnel of World War II, Cornell Law School Alumni, Cornell University Alumni, Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients, Punahou School Alumni, Recipients of the Bronze Star Medal, Recipients of the Legion of Merit, Recipients of the Purple Heart Medal, United States Court of Appeals Judges Appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Elbert Tuttle

Elbert Tuttle
Chief Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
Preceded by Richard Rives
Succeeded by John Robert Brown
Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
1954 – 1968 (senior judge 1968-1981)
Nominated by Dwight Eisenhower
Preceded by (Seat established)
Succeeded by Lewis Render Morgan
Senior Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
In office
Personal details
Born Elbert Parr Tuttle
(1897-07-17)July 17, 1897
Pasadena, California, USA
Died June 23, 1996(1996-06-23) (aged 98)

Elbert Parr Tuttle (July 17, 1897 – June 23, 1996), one of the "Florida, and the Panama Canal Zone.

Tuttle was born in Pasadena, California. In 1906, his family moved to Hawaii where he attended Punahou School. In October 1910, he and his brother Malcolm built and flew the first glider in Hawaii. Tuttle then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, from which he graduated in 1918. He then fought in World War I in the United States Army Air Service from 1918 to 1919. Tuttle was the founder of the Beta Theta chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Cornell and was a member of the Sphinx Head Society.

Tuttle received an practice law with the law firm of Sutherland, Tuttle & Brennan from 1923 to 1953. (The firm is today named Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.)

Tuttle mainly worked on tax litigation; but he also did pro bono work and worked with the American Civil Liberties Union, including doing numerous civil rights cases.

Tuttle served as a Colonel in the United States Army from 1941 to 1946, in World War II, declining a desk job. He was severely injured after engaging in hand-to-hand combat in Okinawa on the island of Ie Shima. He was awarded numerous medals for his service including the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Bronze Service Arrowhead. Tuttle retired as a Brigadier General and was often called "The General" by those who worked closely with him.[1]

After the War, Tuttle became more involved in politics, working with the Republican Party because of his opposition to segregation, which he associated mostly with southern Democrats. He was a general counsel for the United States Department of the Treasury from 1953 to 1954. He was nominated on July 7, 1954, by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to a new Fifth Circuit seat created by 68 Stat. 871; he was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 1954, and received commission the next day. Tuttle served as chief judge for seven years, then assumed senior status.

In the aftermath of the disputed William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas, had argued against legislative selection of the governor, but the court majority, led this time by Hugo Black took the strict constructionist line and cleared the path for Maddox's ultimate election.[2]

On October 1, 1981, Tuttle was transferred to the new Eleventh Circuit, and continued to serve as a senior judge until his death on June 23, 1996. The Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Court of Appeals Building was named in his honor in 1989.

For his work in civil rights cases in the South, Tuttle received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981. He has a star on Atlanta's International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Billy Hathorn, "The Frustration of Opportunity: Georgia Republicans and the Election of 1966", Atlanta History: A Journal of Georgia and the South, XXI (Winter 1987-1988), pp. 46-47


  • Jack Bass, "The 'Fifth Circuit Four'", The Nation, May 3, 2004, p. 30-32.
  • Anne Emanuel, Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution, University of Georgia Press, Fall 2011.
  • Nina Totenberg, Elbert Parr Tuttle, Quiet Civil Rights 'Revolutionary', NPR, October 5, 2011.
  • New Georgia Encyclopedia: Elbert Parr Tuttle
  • Eleventh Circuit profile
  • Elbert Tuttle at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  • Story about the first glider flight in Hawaii
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