John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is a retired associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States who served from December 19, 1975 until his retirement on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest Justice then serving, the second-oldest serving Justice in the history of the Court, and the third longest-serving US Supreme Court Justice in history. He was nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace the Court's longest-serving justice, William O. Douglas. Stevens is widely considered to have been on the liberal side of the Court at the time of his retirement. Stevens served with three Chief Justices (Warren E. Burger, William Rehnquist, and John G. Roberts).
Stevens was born on April 20, 1920, in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois, to a wealthy family. His paternal grandfather had formed an insurance company and held real estate in Chicago, while his great-uncle owned the Chas A. Stevens department store. His father, Ernest James Stevens (1884-1972), was a lawyer who later became a hotelier, owning two hotels, the La Salle and the Stevens Hotel. He lost ownership of the hotels during the Great Depression and was convicted of embezzlement (the conviction was later overturned). (The Stevens Hotel was subsequently bought by Hilton Hotels and is today the Chicago Hilton and Towers.) His mother, Elizabeth Maude (Street) Stevens (1881-1979), was a high school English teacher. Two of his three older brothers also became lawyers.
As a boy, Stevens attended the 1932 World Series baseball game in Chicago's Wrigley Field in which Babe Ruth called his shot. Stevens later recalled: "Ruth did point to the center-field scoreboard. And he did hit the ball out of the park after he pointed with his bat. So it really happened." He also had the opportunity to meet several notable people of the era, including the famed aviators Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, the latter of whom gave him a caged dove as a gift...
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