Former Justice Stevens on his friendship with Charles Percy

Justice Stevens
July 17, 2019

In 2010, Justice John Paul Stevens was interviewed by Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal about his long friendship with Senator Charles H. Percy, dating back to their student days at the University of Chicago. In the interview, Justice Stevens recalls how Senator Percy helped launch his judicial career by encouraging him to accept a nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Five years later, Senator Percy was instrumental in Justice Stevens's elevation to the Supreme Court, by putting forth his name to President Ford and also introducing him at his nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Justice Stevens, who passed away on July 16, served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the second-oldest-serving justice in the history of the court, and the third-longest-serving justice.

Charles H. Percy, known for both his business and political acumen, became head of Bell & Howell at age 29, then served as U.S. senator from Illinois from 1967-85. The Percy Grant at IGS honors his memory by awarding research grants to U.C. Berkeley undergraduate students who are conducting research on an aspect of American politics, including public opinion, electoral behavior, civic participation, government institutions, social movements, and public policy.