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William Huntington Kirkpatrick

William Huntington Kirkpatrick (October 2, 1885 – November 28, 1970) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.


William H. Kirkpatrick (son of William Sebring Kirkpatrick) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, in 1905 and attended the law department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1905 and 1906. He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Easton in 1908. He served in the First World War as major and lieutenant colonel, judge advocate, and was a member of the board of review of courts-martial in the United States Army.

Kirkpatrick was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-seventh Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1922. He resumed the practice of law. He was appointed in 1927 as judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and became chief judge in 1933. Kirkpatrick is remembered as "one of the unsung heroes of American corporate and securities law,"[1] issuing early but influential decisions in Insurance Shares Corp. v. Northern Fiscal Corp.,[2] which described circumstances in which a corporation's controlling shareholder has a fiduciary duty not to sell the control block to a looter, and Kardon v. National Gypsum Co.,[3] first recognizing an implied private cause of action for Rule 10b-5 violations.

Kirkpatrick became a senior judge when he retired in 1958. He died in Cumberstone, Maryland. Interment was in Christ Church Cemetery in Owings Mills, Maryland.


  1. ^ Allen, William T.; Kraakman, Reinier; Subramanian, Guhan (2009), Commentaries and Cases on the Law of Business Organization (3d ed.), Austin, TX: Wolters Kluwer, p. 631 n.19, ISBN 978-0-7355-8600-0 
  2. ^ 35 F. Supp. 22 (E.D. Pa. 1940).
  3. ^ 69 F. Supp. 512 (E.D. Pa. 1946).
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry J. Steele
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 26th congressional district

1921 - 1923
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Phillips, Jr.

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