Patricia Wald

Patricia McGowan Wald
Patricia wald 210962.jpg
Wald in 2015
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
November 8, 1986 – January 19, 1991
Preceded bySpottswood William Robinson III
Succeeded byAbner Mikva
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
July 26, 1979 – November 16, 1999
Appointed byJimmy Carter
Preceded bySeat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Succeeded byThomas B. Griffith
Personal details
Born
Patricia Ann McGowan

(1928-09-16)September 16, 1928
Torrington, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedJanuary 12, 2019(2019-01-12) (aged 90)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationConnecticut College (B.A.)
Yale Law School (LL.B.)

Patricia Ann McGowan Wald (September 16, 1928 – January 12, 2019) was an American judge who served as the Chief United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) and as a judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She was the first woman to be appointed to the D.C. Circuit and the first to serve as Chief Judge of that court. She served as a member of the American Bar Association's International Criminal Court Project and on the Council of the American Law Institute.[1]

Early life

Wald was born in Torrington, Connecticut, to Joseph F. McGowan and Margaret O’Keefe on September 16, 1928, as their only child. Her father left the family when she was two years old, and Wald was raised by her mother,[2][3] with the company and support of extended relatives, most of whom were factory workers in Torrington and active union members. Wald had a Roman Catholic upbringing,[4] and worked in brass mills as a teenager during the summers. Due to her involvement in the labor movement and union work, she determined to go to law school to help protect underprivileged, working class people.[3]

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