HART, JAMES PINCKNEY (1904~1987) James Pinckney Hart, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Texas and first Chancellor of the University of Texas, was born on November 11, 1904 in Austin, Texas to James Hill Hart and Nanny Furman. A fourth generation Austinite, Hart's family moved to Travis County in 1845.
He attended Austin Public Schools and the University of Texas, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Delta Phi, Friars, and Kappa Sigma. He graduated from Harvard Law School with honors and was a member of the Harvard Law Review.
After a year's practice with a prominent law firm in New York, he returned to Austin. His life from then on was divided between public service and private legal practice with his father, James H. Hart, and his son, Judge Joe Hart. He served two years a s District Attorney of Travis County and also as special District Judge by election of the Travis County Bar to fill a temporary vacancy of several months. He served in the Attorney General's office as head of the Oil and Gas division. While there, he successfully argued several landmark cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He also served as special counsel later in the Tidelands case, which went before the U. S. Supreme Court.
He was appointed by Governor Beauford Jester to the Texas Supreme Court and won his race to retain his seat. He left the Supreme Court to become the first Chancellor of the University of Texas. After his resignation as Chancellor, he reentered the private law practice from which he retired in September 1986.
Judge Hart was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. For many years, he was a member of the Downtown Rotary Club, the Town and Gown Club, and was a charter member of the Headliners Club. He served a term as president of the Texas Philosophical Society and of the Texas Fine Arts Association. Locally, he was at one time president of the Austin Red Cross and in other years a board member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Hart was married for 58 years to Katherine Drake Hart, with whom he had five children. Judge Hart, 82, died Sunday, May 10, 1987, and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery three days later.
Information taken from Austin American-Statesman obituary Tuesday, May 12, 1987.