John H. Wood Jr.
|John Howland Wood Jr.|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas|
December 1, 1970 – May 29, 1979
|Appointed by||Richard Nixon|
|Preceded by||new seat created by 84 Stat. 294|
|Succeeded by||Lucius Desha Bunton III|
John Howland Wood Jr.|
March 31, 1916
May 29, 1979 63) (aged|
San Antonio, Texas
St. Mary's University B.B.A.|
University of Texas School of Law LL.B.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1944 – 1954|
John Howland Wood Jr. (March 31, 1916 – May 29, 1979) was an American lawyer and judge from Texas. He served as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas before being assassinated by Charles Harrelson outside Wood's home in San Antonio, in 1979. Wood's killing was the first assassination of a federal judge in the 20th century. (Two other federal judges were assassinated in the 1980s, Richard J. Daronco in 1988 and Robert Smith Vance in 1989.)
Early life and education
Wood was born on March 31, 1916, to a prominent Texas family in Rockport, Texas. His great-great-grandfather, John Howland Wood, settled in Texas in 1836 and founded the towns of Rockport and Woodsboro, and took part in the Texas Revolution and American Civil War. Wood's father, John H. Wood Sr., was also a lawyer. Wood attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Mary's University in 1935 and his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Texas School of Law in 1938.
Wood was in private practice in San Antonio from 1938 to 1970 with the law firm Beckmann, Stanard & Olson, except from 1944 to 1945, when he served as an ensign in the Navy during World War II. Wood was in the Naval Reserve from 1945 to 1954, as a Lieutenant.
Federal judicial service
Wood was nominated by President Richard Nixon on October 7, 1970, to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to a new seat created by 84 Stat. 294. Confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 1970, he received commission on December 1, 1970. He served until his assassination in San Antonio on May 29, 1979.
Assassination and honors
Wood was well known for his harsh sentencing of drug traffickers. Wood was assassinated by Charles Harrelson (father of actor Woody Harrelson) in a contract killing placed by Texas drug lord Jamiel Chagra, who was awaiting trial before the judge.
John H. Wood Middle School, in San Antonio is named in his honor. The federal courthouse in San Antonio is also named for Wood.
- John H. Wood Jr. at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
| Succeeded by|
Lucius Desha Bunton III