John Cornelius Phillips

Portrait of John Cornelius Phillips Headstone Photograph


John C.
November 24, 1917
October 8, 1999

Margaret L.
July 23, 1921

Back of headstone


F. B. I.
Special Agent
1941 - 1944

Third Court of Appeals
1963 - 1985

Chief Justice
1967 - 1985
Full Name: John Cornelius Phillips
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 2 (C2)
Row:N  Number:17
Reason for Eligibility: Justice and Chief Justice, 3rd Court of Civil Appeals 
Birth Date: November 24, 1917 
Died: October 8, 1999 
Burial Date: October 11, 1999 

PHILLIPS, JOHN CORNELIUS (1917 ~ 1999). John C. Phillips, state judge, was born November 24, 1917,in San Antonio, Texas, to Dr. Hiram and Annette Phillips. Justice Phillips was educated at the Texas Military Institute and received his B.A. and LL.B in 1941. He joined the FBI before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

During World War II, he was a Special Agent in Mexico, where he met his wife, Peggy Smith, of Minneapolis. Following World War II, he moved to Austin where he became a briefing attorney for Texas Supreme Court Justices Taylor, Slatten, Smedley, and Hart.

He later served as Hearing Examiner for the Texas Railroad Commission in the Oil and Gas Utilities Division. He also served as Assistant Attorney General under Will Wilson. During this time he helped keep Texas beaches open to the public.

In 1963, he was elected to the Third Court of Appeals. Four years later, he assumed the position of chief justice, which he held until his retirement in 1986. Judge Phillips was a member of the Texas Law Review Board of Directors and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Phillips died on October 8, 1999 and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery three days later.

Information taken from Texas State Cemetery file materials.

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