Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

A collection of quotes by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was an esteemed American jurist and a Justice of the Supreme Court. Born on March 8, 1841, in Boston, Massachusetts, Holmes hailed from a prominent and intellectual family. His father, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., was a renowned physician and poet.

Holmes graduated from Harvard University in 1861 and served as a lieutenant in the Union Army during the Civil War. He participated in several notable battles, including the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Ball's Bluff. Holmes's experiences during the war deeply influenced his later legal philosophy.

After the war, Holmes studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1866. He quickly made a name for himself as a legal scholar and advocate, eventually becoming an influential figure in American jurisprudence. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court, where he served with distinction for nearly three decades.

Known for his pragmatic and flexible approach to the law, Holmes's judicial opinions often emphasized the impact of social and economic factors on legal decisions. His most famous phrase, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience," encapsulates his belief in the necessity of adapting legal doctrines to changing social realities.

Oliver Wendell Holmes retired from the Supreme Court in 1932 at the age of 90, having left an indelible mark on American legal thought. He is often celebrated as one of the most influential and revered justices in the history of the United States. Oliver Wendell Holmes passed away on March 6, 1935, at the age of 93.