Minnesota State Law Library
Born on April 24, 1913, in St Paul, Minnesota, Lee Loevinger graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1933. He went on to receive his law degree from the University of Minnesota, again graduating summa cum laude in 1936.
After graduation, Loevinger relocated to Kansas City, Missouri where he practiced law briefly before serving as the Minneapolis Regional Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in New York.
In 1942, after working in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Loevinger joined the U.S. Navy where he was assigned to North Africa and Europe during World War II.
Loevinger returned to Minnesota after the war and practiced law at the firm of Larson, Loevinger, Lindquist, Freeman, and Fraser (now known as Lindquist & Venum) and taught as a visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Minnesota. He also served for a brief time in Washington as chief counsel to the subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business.
In 1960, Loevinger was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, but served only briefly on the Court because, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked him to serve with Robert Kennedy in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As assistant attorney general, Loevinger worked alongside Robert Kennedy and Byron White (later appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States) in what was labeled the "exclusive triumvirate" of antitrust enforcement.
In 1963, President Kennedy appointed Loevinger commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, where Loevinger made use of his background in antitrust by putting forth a "diversity of ownership and control" approach to improving program quality. During his time at the FCC, Loevinger also pressed AT&T to implement the 911 emergency call system.
In 1968, Loevinger left the FCC and entered private practice at the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson. He continued to practice in the areas of antitrust, and federal communications and administrative law until he retired in 1985.
In retirement Loevinger remained active, chairing the ABA Section of Science and Technology Law (which he founded) and serving as a liaison to the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. He also continued to publish, authoring over 100 articles on a range of topics including law, economics, communications, and antitrust. In his later years, his topics ventured into the study of the universe and cosmology.
Justice Loevinger died in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2004.
You may read more about the abundant work and life of Justice Loevinger in the many resources provided in this guide and in the book, Testimony: Remembering Minnesota's Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography.