About John Christian Bullitt
John Christian Bullitt (1824–1902) was a prominent lawyer and civic figure in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He founded the law firm known today as Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Bullitt was born to a prominent Kentucky family in 1824. His family had a political background: his grandfather, Alexander S. Bullitt, was President of Kentucky’s first Constitutional Convention, and his father, William C. Bullitt, was a member of Kentucky’s Constitutional Convention of 1850.
Bullitt graduated from Centre College and moved to Philadelphia in 1849, on the advice of Secretary of State and future President James Buchanan, whom he had met on a tour in Washington, D.C. It was in Philadelphia that Bullitt began his legal practice. One of his earliest clients was the Bank of Kentucky. Bullitt and his law partner, Samuel Dickson, soon created one of the most successful and lucrative law offices in the city. Bullitt would later represent financier Jay Cooke in the aftermath of the Panic of 1873.
Bullitt served as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1873, and in 1885 drafted the "Bullitt Bill", which would become the Philadelphia City Charter two years later. He also founded the Fourth Street National Bank in 1886.
He would continue his legal practice until his death in 1902. His grandson, William Christian Bullitt, Jr., would become the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union.