Frank M. Coffin

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Frank Morey Coffin

Birthdate: (90)
Death: 2009 (90)
Immediate Family:

Son of Herbert Rice Coffin and Ruth Mildred Morey
Half brother of John Aldridge Coffin

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Frank M. Coffin

Frank Morey Coffin (July 11, 1919 – December 7, 2009) was an American politician from Maine and a United States federal judge. He was a Democrat.

Early life, education, and career

Born in Lewiston, Maine, Coffin was educated in Lewiston public schools and received an A.B. from Bates College in 1940, an I.A. from Harvard Business School in 1943, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, in 1947.

During World War II, Coffin served in the Pacific Theater with the U.S. Navy as an ensign and later as a lieutenant from 1943 until 1946. He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Lewiston, and was a law clerk, Hon. John D. Clifford, Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Maine from 1947 to 1949. He was a Corporation counsel, City of Lewiston, Maine from 1949 to 1952. maintaining his private practice in Lewiston until 1953, and then in Portland, Maine, until 1956.

Political activities

Coffin served as chairman of the Maine Democratic state committee from 1954 to 1956 and was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1956. He was elected to the 85th and 86th Congresses, serving from January 3, 1957 until January 3, 1961. He did not seek re-election in the 1960 election, choosing instead to embark on an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Maine. Coffin was then managing director of the Development Loan Fund until October 1961 when he became deputy administrator of the Agency for International Development and served until 1964. He was appointed to serve as United States Representative to Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris from 1964 to 1965.

Federal judicial service

On September 15, 1965, Coffin was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated by John Patrick Hartigan. Coffin was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 1, 1965, and received commission on October 2, 1965. He served as chief judge from 1972 to 1983, and assumed senior status on February 1, 1989. During that time, he was the chairman of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch from 1984 to 1990. Coffin retired from the bench entirely in the fall of 2006.

Later career and death

A resident of South Portland, Coffin also served as a partner in the Maine-based law firm Verrill Dana. He was recognized by the firm for his work with the Frank M. Coffin Fellowship in Family Law.

He died on December 7, 2009 at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine from complications following surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Coffin is the author of four books: Witness for AID (Houghton Mifflin 1964); The Ways of a Judge: Views from the Federal Appellate Bench (Houghton Mifflin 1980); A Lexicon of Oral Advocacy (National Institute of Trial Advocacy 1985); On Appeal:

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Frank M. Coffin's Timeline

Age 90