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David Joseph Cannon Edit Profile


DAVID CANNON, American Lawyer, Partner of MICHAEL, BEST & FRIEDRICH, specializing in the field of Litigation, Management Labor Relations. Intellectual Property, Financial Institutions, Securities and Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Property and Commercial, Industrial and Residential Land Development, Taxation, Associations, Antitrust, Public and Corporate Finance, Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy, International Business, Estate Planning. Health Care, Immigration, Environmental.


Cannon, David J. was born on August 6, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.


Marquette University (Bachelor of Science, 1955. Juris Doctor, 1960). District Attorney, Milwaukee County, 1968. United States. Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1969-1973.

President, Milwaukee Bar Association, 1982-1983. Member, Board of Governors, 1985-1989, State Bar of Wisconsin.


Cannon was the last Republican to serve as Milwaukee County District Attorney. In 1960, Cannon received his law degree from Marquette University Law School and entered private practice. He gained notoriety for successfully challenging the authority of Wisconsin district attorneys, and Milwaukee County's corporation counsel, to issue arrest warrants in child support cases.

In 1966, he was hired as a Milwaukee County prosecutor by District Attorney Hugh O'Connell. When O'Connell was elected to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in April 1968, Republican Governor Warren Knowles appointed Cannon to succeed him. As district attorney, Cannon sought to modernize the office's technology and to redirect its resources against white-collar crime.

He prosecuted John Oraa Tucker, a Milwaukee man accused of fatally shooting a police officer during the city's 1967 civil unrest. Although Tucker was convicted of several related felonies, he was acquitted of homicide. Additionally, Cannon faced an uphill election battle in the fall of 1968, facing Democrat E. Michael McCann, a former assistant district attorney.

In the November general election, McCann defeated Cannon with a margin of approximately 12,000 votes. In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon nominated Cannon to serve as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, replacing James B. Brennan. Cannon's nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate in June 1969 and he took office in July.

While in office, Cannon pursued federal charges in connection to an incident of draft-card burning in 1968 and conducted a grand jury investigation into the activities of the Balistrieri underworld family. Cannon resigned from office on November 16, 1973 and returned permanently to private practice. Cannon practiced law in Milwaukee with the firm Michael Best & Friedrich, working to expand the firm's litigation section.

He also served as president of the Milwaukee Bar Association in the early 1980s and chaired the board of Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin. Cannon died of lung cancer on July 26, 2011.


  • Bar; Wisconsin 1960, United States District Court (eastern district) Wisconsin 1960, United States Court Appeals (7th circuit) 1969, United States Court Appeals (8th circuit) 1976, United States District Court (western district) Wisconsin 1976, United States Court Appeals (5th circuit) 1978, United States Court Appeals (4th circuit) 1997.


Member, Board of Governors, 1985-1989, State Bar of Wisconsin. Member: Seventh Circuit Bar Association.


Son of George W. and Florence (Dean) c. Married Carol Nevins, March 10, 1962. Children: Charles, Courtney.

George W. Cannon

Florence (Dean) Cannon

Carol Nevins

Courtney Cannon

Charles Cannon