Log In

Bailey Aldrich Edit Profile

judge , Lawyer

Bailey Aldrich, American Federal judge. Bar: Massachusetts 1932. Member American Law Institute, American Academy Arts and Sciences.


Aldrich, Bailey was born on April 23, 1907 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Talbot and Eleanor (Little) Aldrich.


A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Aldrich graduated from Harvard College with an Artium Baccalaureus in 1928 and Harvard Law School with a Bachelor of Laws in 1932.


According to Ted Morgan in Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America, Judge Aldrich drew the ire of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1955, when Aldrich dismissed contempt of Congress charges against Leon J. Kamin. In February 1956, McCarthy wrote to complain to President Eisenhower, accusing Judge Aldrich of harboring sympathy toward Communists. He had learned from the New Bedford Standard-Times that Aldrich had initially refused, on principle, to sign a non-Communist affidavit card upon his appointment as a trustee to the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital.

Massachusetts Governor Christian Herter had nominated him for the trusteeship on August 2, 1955, two months before the Kamin trial. According to Morgan, the judge wrote that he "would rather forgo the post on the hospital board than sign the card." He finally did sign the card on September 13, "after being told that failure to comply would cause great embarrassment to the Herter administration," but McCarthy was not satisfied by the news that Aldrich had eventually complied. President Eisenhower ignored McCarthy's complaint.

In 1959, Eisenhower promoted Aldrich to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Aldrich served as an active judge of the First Circuit from 1959 until 1972, including a term as Chief Judge from 1965 to 1972. In 1972, Aldrich took senior status but continued to participate in hearing and deciding cases through his death in 2002 at the age of 95.

Judge Aldrich was the grandson of the 19th century author Thomas Bailey Aldrich. He was the father of poet Jonathan Aldrich.


  • He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1954.


Member of American Academy Arts and Sciences, American Law Institute.


Married Elizabeth Perkins, August 13, 1932. Children: Jonathan, David.

Talbot Aldrich

Eleanor (Little) Aldrich

Elizabeth Perkins

David Aldrich

Jonathan Aldrich