Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Preparations for this Pulitzer prize-winning biography began in 1932 when a Princeton University undergraduate, Henry C. Beerits, took Hughes' public career as the topic of his senior thesis. On the suggestion of friends and instructors Beerits sent his sympathetic, uncritical essay to the Chief Justice. Evidently much pleased, Hughes promptly invited the youthful author to Washington, where he spent nearly a year arranging the Justice's public papers. Many sessions were spent together; the Chief Justice reminisced at great length, all this being noted down and turned over to Mr. Pusey. After retirement in 1941 the Chief Justice wrote "several hundred pages of biographical notes," and had long talks with his biographer.