Harold Hitz Burton

Harold Hitz Burton ( born June 22, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts, † October 28, 1964 in Washington DC) was an American judge and politician of the Republican Party. From 1941 to 1945 he sat for the U.S. state of Ohio in the Senate.


Burton was born in Jamaica plan, a neighborhood of Boston, the son of Alfred E. Burton and Anna Gertrude Hitz. His father was dean of MIT. He accompanied Robert Edwin Peary on his frequent trips. His mother was the daughter of a Swiss diplomats. About his mother, he was also related to J. Edgar Hoover.

Burton attended Bowdoin College where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He lived in a shared flat with the late Senator from Maine, Owen Brewster. In 1912 he completed the law degree from Harvard University. He then went to Ohio and opened a law firm. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army, most recently as an infantry officer.

In 1929 he was elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio. He sat there for a year. In 1935 he was elected mayor of Cleveland. This he remained until his election to the Senate in 1941.

On September 18, 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman nominated him as successor to Owen Roberts. He should take his place at the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate approved the nomination on September 19. On September 22, he was sworn in by Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, and took office the same day. During his tenure, he was involved among other things in the case Brown v. Board of Education.

1912 Burton married Selma Florence Smith. They had 4 children. He died in office in 1964 in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Cuyahoga County in Ohio.