Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Former Justice Thomas M. Herbert Dies at 86

Image of former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas M. Herbert

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas M. Herbert.

Image of former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas M. Herbert

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas M. Herbert.

One day after his father completed his term as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court, Thomas M. Herbert succeeded him on the high court on January 1, 1969. Former Justice Herbert died on Sunday at the age of 86.

Joining Edward and John Matthias, the Herberts were one of two father-son successions in the history of the Supreme Court.

According to his official court biography, Herbert “defeated Merrill D. Brothers in 1968, and in 1974, was re-elected. His father (Paul M. Herbert) administered the oath of office in a private ceremony in chambers on Dec. 24, 1968. Thomas Herbert served under Chief Justices Kingsley A. Taft, C. William O’Neill, Robert E. Leach and Frank D. Celebrezze.”

Herbert resigned from the Supreme Court on July 31, 1980 and joined Porter, Wright, Morris, and Arthur. In 1978, he sought election as chief justice but lost to Celebrezze. About a year later, he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election to a third term.

For two years in the early 1980s, Herbert served as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Before serving on the Supreme Court, Herbert was elected to the Tenth District Court of Appeals in 1966. He also served in the Ohio House of Representatives in the early 1960s.

Born December 1, 1927, Herbert held bachelor’s and law degrees from Ohio State University. He flew 260 hours of combat in B-29 airplanes during the Korean War and received the Air Medal with cluster. He was married to the former Patricia Mae Harris for nearly 52 years. They raised two children: Lisa Herbert Cobe and Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Paul M. Herbert II.

A public memorial service is not planned. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to OhioHealth Hospice, 800 McConnell Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43214.

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