Justices of the Florida Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Florida
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Tallahassee Florida

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Justice Edward Harris Drew

Edward Harris Drew (Palm Beach)  [served 18 years, 5 months]
Served August 18, 1952 – January 5, 1971 as Justice
Served May 6, 1955 – January 8, 1957 and July 1, 1963 – July 1, 1965 as Chief Justice [appointed at age 48]
b. Fargo, Georgia, October 28, 1903     d. February 9, 1978, Tallahassee, Florida
County Judge:  No.          Circuit Judge:  No.

Though Harris Drew was born in Georgia, the Drew family moved to Florida in 1838.  Drew worked and studied hard as a youth, graduating from Stetson University College of Law in 1923.  He was given a waiver to start his law practice at age 20.  He was appointed the town attorney of West Palm Beach that same year and held the position for 29 years.  He also worked with and became friends with a number of prominent people in the Palm Beach area.  His community service in the Masons, Kiwanis Club, and Rotary Club brought him to the attention of people statewide.  In 1943 - 1944 he served as president of the Florida State Bar Association, where he worked on the committee for judicial administration and wrote articles on various aspects of local-government law.

Governor Fuller Warren appointed Drew to the Florida Supreme Court in 1952, but the justices determined that a special election was warranted, and Drew had to campaign for the seat.  He won by only a few votes.  In 1955, the court voted Drew to complete the term of the late Justice Mathews as chief justice.  In 1963, when serving a second time as chief justice, Drew presided over the impeachment trial of Circuit Judge Richard Kelly.  Shortly after the end of the trial, Drew had a heart attack.  His health was a major concern for the next several years, and led to his retirement in 1971.

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