The nation's oldest sitting federal judge died Monday night. U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown died at age 104.
“As a federal judge, I was appointed for life or good behavior, whichever I lose first,” Brown quipped in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. How did he plan to leave the post? “Feet first,” Brown said.
Judge Brown worked up until a month ago, when he had health problems, but his law clerks brought his work to him when he was hospitalized.
Brown was appointed as a federal district judge in 1962 by President Kennedy. When reaching senior status in 1979, Brown continued to carry a full work load, when he could have reduced the number of cases he was hearing.
“I do it to be a public service,” Brown said in the AP interview. “You got to have a reason to live. As long as you perform a public service, you have a reason to live.”
An object lesson for us all.