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    Justice Harold Sebring

    The 46th Justice of the Court, H.L. "Tom" Sebring was also one of the most widely respected members ever to serve on the Court. Born in Olathe, Kansas, in 1898, Sebring studied architecture, engineering, [PORTRAIT: Justice Harold Sebring]and business administration as an undergraduate. His adult life began with 22 months overseas duty during World War I. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1919, having been awarded numerous military decorations by the United States and France. He was a star college athlete in three sports, football referee, and head coach of University of Florida track, boxing and football teams while earning his law degree there.

    Sebring was regarded as “a creative, brilliant innovator” as Gator football coach, and his 1925 team finished 8-2, which was the best record in school history to that time. In his last year of coaching, 1927, the Gators finished 7-3 beating Alabama and Auburn on the road, and he recruited the starters for the 1928 team that would finish 8-1 and lead the nation in scoring.

    Eighteen years later, while serving on the Florida Supreme Court, after a distinguished career as a practicing attorney and Circuit Judge, Justice Sebring received a high honor from President Harry Truman. The President appointed Sebring to serve as a judge on the Nazi War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany. Because Sebring did not want to leave his post on the Supreme Court, he was granted a leave of absence. In his absence the other Justices appointed a new lower-court judge each month to temporarily serve in Sebring's place. He served on the Florida Supreme Court from 1943 to 1955, when he retired to become Dean of Stetson Law School.

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