Justice Benjamin Campbell Thornal

Justice Benjamin Campbell Thornal

Justice Benjamin Campbell Thornal

Former Justice B. Campbell Thornal was the 52nd Justice on the Supreme Court. He served from 1955 to 1970.

He moved to Florida as a teenager with his family, settling in Orlando in 1922.  He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in 1930. 

Thornal slowly built his legal practice in Orlando during the Great Depression, but succeeded in creating a larger practice by the end of the 1930s.  He became active in politics in the 1940s, working for Governor (later United States Senator) Spessard Holland from 1941 – 1943, and, after service in World War II, working with Dan McCarty, and then LeRoy Collins, during their campaigns for governor. 

Governor Collins appointed him to the Florida Supreme Court in 1955.  While on the court, he worked for equal treatment of minority groups under the law. 

In 1969, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which led to his death in 1970, while still serving on the court.

Quick facts about Justice Thornal:

  • Benjamin Campbell Thornal (Orange) [served 15 years, 6 months]
  • Served May 9, 1955 – November 4, 1970 as Justice
  • Served July 1, 1965 – July 1, 1967, as Chief Justice [appointed at age 46]
  • b. Charleston, South Carolina, October 15, 1908 d. November 4, 1970, Tallahassee, Florida
  • County Judge: No. Circuit Judge: No.

Former Justices

Contact Information

Florida Supreme Court
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, Florida
32399-1925 | EMAIL
Talking with Justices and Staff