Fahy, Charles, 1892-1979

Alternative names
Birth 1892-08-27
Death 1979-09-17

Biographical notes:

Charles Fahy (1892-1979) was born in Rome, Georgia. A graduate of local schools, he later attended the University of Notre Dame and the Georgetown University School of Law, receiving an L.L.B. in 1914. He was admitted to the bar in Washington, D.C., and practiced law there for ten years. Interrupting his practice during World War I, he served as a Navy pilot and was awarded the Naval Cross for distinguished and heroic service. In 1924, Fahy moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for reasons of health, remaining there until April 1933 when he became First Assistant Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, marking the beginning of Fahy''s federal service. While with the Department of the Interior, he also served as Vice-Chairman, and later Chairman, of the Petroleum Administrative Board, administering the Petroleum Code under the National Recovery Administration. In September 1935, he was appointed General Counsel of the newly established National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a position he held for the next five years. At this time, Mr. Fahy was involved, along with the Solicitor General, in the preparation and presentation of the government''s argument in five Supreme Court test cases involving the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act. He also argued a number of other cases involving the NLRB before the Supreme Court. Fahy began work at the Department of Justice in October 1940 as Assistant Solicitor General. He succeeded Francis Biddle as Solicitor General when Biddle was appointed Attorney General in November 1941. That same winter, he traveled to London as a member of Roosevelt''s Base Lease Commission negotiating terms of the United States'' agreement with Great Britain leasing military and air bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and South America. As Solicitor General, Fahy also served as a member of the Civil Service Board of Legal Examiners which established standards for lawyers entering government service. Fahy''s principal responsibility as Solicitor General, however, was the preparation of all government cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. He personally argued many of the government''s cases before the Court, including cases arising from the wartime relocation of Japanese citizens on the West Coast, the deportation proceedings against Harry Bridges, the Cramer treason case, the denaturalization of William Schneiderman (argued against Wendell Willkie), and cases involving the validity of wartime price controls. Resigning as Solicitor in July 1945, Fahy was appointed Legal Adviser and Director of the Legal Division of the United States Military Government of Germany. He remained in Germany until June of 1946 when he was named Legal Adviser to the Department of State, a position he held little more than a year. Fahy also was involved in the formation of the United Nations. In April 1945 he served as an adviser to the International Committee of Jurists, meeting in Washington to revise the statute of the World Court. Later that same year he was an adviser to the United States delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco. In 1946 and 1947 he was the U.S. member of the Legal Committee of the General Assembly, and also served as an Alternate Representative on the United States Delegation to the General Assembly in 1947 and 1949. In 1948, Harry S. Truman appointed Fahy as Chairman of the President''s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces. He also held the post of Chairman of the Personnel Security Review Board of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1949 and 1950. In October 1949, President Truman appointed Fahy as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

From the description of Fahy, Charles, 1892-1979 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10677886

Jurist, lawyer, U.S. solicitor general, and U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

From the description of Charles Fahy papers, 1857-1985 (bulk 1942-1975). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70982299

Attorney, World War I naval aviator, chairman of the United States Petroleum Administrative Board, 1933-1935, general counsel National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), 1935-1940, Solicitor General of the United States, 1941-1945, advisor to U.S. delegations to United Nations General Assembly, 1946, chairman President's Committee on General Assembly, 1946, chairman President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in Armed Services, 1948-1950, and judge, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1949-1967.

From the description of Papers, 1876-1974. (University of Notre Dame). WorldCat record id: 24427427

Lawyer; judge.

From the description of Reminiscences of Charles Fahy : oral history, 1958. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309737465


Fahy began his long career in federal service in 1933 serving with the National Labor Relations Board, Justice Department, and the Armed Forces. Fahy was also involved in the formation of the United Nations.

From the description of Papers, 1933-1957. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155522860

Biographical Note

  • 1892, Aug. 27: Born, Rome, Ga.
  • 1910 - 1911 : Attended University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
  • 1914: LL.B., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Admitted to District of Columbia bar
  • 1914 - 1924 : Practiced law in the District of Columbia except for the period when he served in the armed forces
  • 1917 - 1919 : Naval aviator during World War I
  • 1924 - 1933 : Practiced law in Santa Fe, N.Mex.
  • 1929: Married Mary Agnes Lane
  • 1933 - 1935 : First assistant solicitor, Department of the Interior
  • 1935 - 1940 : General counsel, National Labor Relations Board
  • 1940 - 1941 : Assistant solicitor general
  • 1941: Member, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Naval and Air Base Commission to London
  • 1941 - 1945 : Solicitor general
  • 1942: LL.D., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1945: Adviser to U.S. delegation to San Francisco Conference, United Nations
  • 1945 - 1946 : Legal adviser to military governor of Germany
  • 1946 - 1947 : Legal adviser, Department of State
  • 1948 - 1950 : Chairman, President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services
  • 1949 - 1979 : Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • 1979, Sept. 17: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the Charles Fahy Papers, 1857-1985, (bulk 1942-1975), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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Ark ID:


  • International courts
  • National socialism
  • Lend-lease operations (1941-1945)
  • Petroleum industry and trade
  • Industries--Germany
  • Criminal law--United States
  • Air pilots--Interviews
  • Deportation
  • Industry
  • Practice of law--New Mexico--Santa Fe
  • Civil law
  • World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations, American
  • World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects
  • Judicial review
  • Reconstruction (1939-1945)
  • Courts--Washington (D.C.)
  • Criminal law
  • Lawyers--Interviews
  • World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps
  • Cartels--Germany
  • Practice of law
  • Political parties
  • Cartels
  • International trusteeships
  • Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
  • Denazification
  • Civil law--United States
  • World War, 1939-1945--Evacuation of civilians
  • New Deal, 1933-1939
  • Appellate procedure
  • Courts
  • Industrial relations
  • International organization
  • Practice of law--Washington (D.C.)
  • Labor and laboring classes
  • Judges--Interviews


  • Jurists
  • Public officials
  • Lawyers


  • Germany (as recorded)
  • New Mexico--Santa Fe (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • New Mexico (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • 1945- (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • 1933-1945 (as recorded)