MacKinnon, George E., 1906-1995.

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George Edward MacKinnon was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 22, 1906, the son of James Alexander Wiley and Cora Blanche (Asselstine) MacKinnon. He attended the University of Colorado, and was graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1929, having also won All-American rating as center on the Minnesota football teams of 1925-1927, and the Western Conference Medal of 1929.

Following graduation he entered private practice in Minneapolis and acted as assistant general counsel to Investor's Syndicate that later became Investors Diversified Services. Elected from the 29th District to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1934, 1936, 1938, and 1940, he served on the Rules Committee and as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He authored and led the fight for the 1939 Minnesota State Reorganization Act, and drafted the state Civil Service Law of 1939 and the state Old Age Assistance Law of 1936.

In 1942 MacKinnon volunteered for duty with the United States Navy, spent four years with the Atlantic Fleet Air Force, earned a citation for meritorious services, and was discharged a commander.

Upon his return in 1946 he was elected from Minnesota's Third District to the United States House of Representatives and served on the Education and Labor Committee. As a congressman MacKinnon worked with Richard M. Nixon on drafting the Taft-Hartley Act and on the investigation of Alger Hiss. MacKinnon was defeated for reelection in 1948. From 1949-1953 he was engaged in private practice in Minneapolis, was active during the period 1949-1952 in the campaigns of Harold E. Stassen, and served in 1952 as research director for Nixon in his first vice presidential campaign.

On April 1, 1953, MacKinnon was appointed United States District Attorney for Minnesota. He investigated and prosecuted one of the most famous labor racketeering cases in the country--United States v. Gerald Connelly--two years before the McClellan Committee began its investigations.

In 1958 he resigned his post as United States District Attorney to accept the Republican nomination for governor of Minnesota, a contest he lost to Orville Freeman. During 1960 MacKinnon focused on labor racketeering investigations that specifically involved James Hoffa as a special assistant to United States Attorney General William P. Rogers. From 1961 to 1969 he was general counsel and vice president of Investor's Mutual Funds in Minneapolis.

In 1969 President Nixon appointed MacKinnon a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. While on the D.C. circuit bench MacKinnon also served as presiding judge for the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and as presiding judge of the Division for the Purpose of Appointing Independent Counsels.

MacKinnon married Elizabeth Valentine Davis, born on August 5, 1915 in Palmer, Massachusetts, on August 20, 1938. The MacKinnons had three children and lived in Long Lake, Minnesota, 1948-1969, and Potomac, Maryland, 1969-1995. MacKinnon died May 1, 1995.

  • 1906: Born April 22 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of James Alexander MacKinnon and Cora Blanche Asselstine.
  • 1923 - 1924 : Student at the University of Colorado, Durango.
  • 1925 - 1927 : Center, University of Minnesota Gophers football team.
  • 1928 - 1929. : Editorial Board member, Minnesota Law Review.
  • 1928 - 1932 : Assistant Coach, University of Minnesota Gophers football team.
  • 1929: LL.B., University of Minnesota.
  • 1929: All-American rating and recipient of the Western Conference Medal.
  • 1929 - 1942 : Assistant general counsel, Investors Syndicate, Minneapolis.
  • 1935 - 1942 : State Representative for 29th District, Minneapolis.
  • 1938: Married Elizabeth Valentine Davis August 20.
  • 1942 - 1946 : U.S. Navy Air Force, Atlantic Fleet.
  • 1946: Daughter Catharine Alice MacKinnon born.
  • 1947 - 1949 : U. S. Representative for 3rd District of Minnesota.
  • 1948: Son James Davis MacKinnon born.
  • 1949 - 1953 : Private law practice.
  • 1951: Son Leonard Davis MacKinnon born.
  • 1952: Research Director, Nixon vice presidential campaign.
  • 1953 - 1958 : U.S. District Attorney for Minnesota.
  • 1958: Republican nominee for Minnesota governor.
  • 1958 - 1961 : Private law practice.
  • 1960 - 1961 : Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General.
  • 1961 - 1969 : General Counsel and Vice President, Investors Mutual Funds.
  • 1969: Appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals at age 63.
  • 1979 - 1982 : Presiding Judge, U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.
  • 1983: Took senior status on May 20.
  • 1983 - 1987 : Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of Criminal Law.
  • 1985: Delegate, United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders.
  • 1985 - 1991 : U.S. Sentencing Commission.
  • 1985 - 1992 : Presiding Judge, Court Division for the Appointment of Independent Counsels.
  • 1995: Died May 1 of myelodysplasia in Potomac, Maryland.

From the guide to the George E. MacKinnon papers., 1927-1995., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf George E. MacKinnon papers., 1927-1995. Minnesota Historical Society.
creatorOf Hawkins, Oscar F. (Oscar Ferdinand), 1872-1964. Oscar F. Hawkins and family papers, 1888-1963. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf MacKinnon, George E., 1906-1995. George E. MacKinnon Papers, 1927-1995. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Freeman, Orville L. Orville L. Freeman papers, [ca. 1903]-1919, 1941-2003 (bulk 1946-1998). Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Orville L. Freeman papers., [ca. 1903]-1919, 1941-2003 (bulk 1946-1998). Minnesota Historical Society.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Amicus, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Asselstine family. family
associatedWith Asselstine family. family
associatedWith Blackmun, Harry A. (Harry Andrew), 1908-1999. person
associatedWith Blumenfeld, Isadore, 1900-1981. person
associatedWith Brownell, Herbert, 1904- person
associatedWith Brownell, Herbert, 1904- person
associatedWith Burger, Warren E., 1907- person
associatedWith Burger, Warren E., 1907- person
associatedWith Campbell, Thomas, 1952- person
associatedWith Crowley, Marshall O. person
associatedWith Crowley, Marshall O. person
associatedWith Cullen, Dick. person
associatedWith Cullen, Dick. person
associatedWith Devitt, Edward J. (Edward James), 1911- person
associatedWith Engstrand, Gary. person
associatedWith Freeman, Orville L. person
associatedWith Freeman, Orville L. person
associatedWith Hawkins, Oscar F. (Oscar Ferdinand), 1872-1964. person
associatedWith Hiss, Alger. person
associatedWith Hiss, Alger. person
associatedWith Hoffa, James R. (James Riddle), 1913- person
associatedWith Hovde, Frederick L., 1908- person
associatedWith Investors Diversified Services. corporateBody
associatedWith Larson, Earl R. person
associatedWith Larson, Earl R. person
associatedWith Lord, Miles. person
associatedWith Lord, Miles. person
associatedWith MacKinnon, Catharine A. person
associatedWith MacKinnon family. family
associatedWith MacKinnon family. family
associatedWith Murrell, John H. person
associatedWith Nagurski, Bronko, 1908- person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913- person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994. person
associatedWith Nordbye, Gunnar H. (Gunnar Hans), 1888-1977. person
associatedWith Republican Party (United States : 1854- ). corporateBody
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Riley, Neil. person
associatedWith Riley, Neil. person
associatedWith Rogers, William P. (William Pierce), 1913- person
associatedWith Silha, Otto A. person
associatedWith Silha, Otto A. person
associatedWith Spears, Clarence W. person
associatedWith Spears, Clarence W. person
associatedWith Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907-2001. person
associatedWith Thye, Edward John, 1896- person
associatedWith Trohan, Walter, 1903- person
associatedWith Turner, Robert W. person
associatedWith Twin City Rapid Transit Company. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Court of Appeals (District of Columbia Circuit) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Court of Appeals (District of Columbia Circuit). Division for the Purpose of Appointing Independent Counsels. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Navy corporateBody
associatedWith United States Sentencing Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith Veysey, Arthur. person
associatedWith Veysey, Arthur. person
associatedWith Walsh, Leonard P. person
associatedWith Walsh, Leonard P. person
associatedWith Woods, Rose Mary. person
associatedWith Woods, Rose Mary. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Durango (Colo.).
United States
Minnesota
Minnesota
United States
Durango (Colo.)
Subject
Law--Cases
Judicial process
Appellate courts--United States
Political campaigns--Minnesota
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Sentences (Criminal procedure)
Judicial opinions
Criminal justice, Administration of
Presidents--Election
Law--United States--Cases
Special prosecutors--Selection and appointment
Appellate courts
Educational law and legislation--United States
Labor laws and legislation--United States
Political Campaigns
Special prosecutors--United States--Selection and appointment
Labor laws and legislation
Crime--Minnesota
Judicial process--United States
Crime
Educational law and legislation
Sentences (Criminal procedure)--United States
Judicial opinions--United States
Criminal justice, Administration of--Minnesota
Occupation
Judges
Judges--District of Columbia
Football players--Minnesota
Lawyers
Public prosecutors--Minnesota
Function

Person

Birth 1906

Death 1995

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