William T. Gossett

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William T. Gossett

William T. Gossett

“It is the duty of lawyers to explain, interpret and defend the rule of law constantly – and not merely to demand tougher enforcement of the law.”
William Gossett, 1969


William Thomas Gossett was born in Texas and grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1925 and Columbia University in 1928. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1929 and remained in practice there for nearly 20 years. He served as general counsel for Bendix Aviation Corporation before becoming vice-president and general counsel of Ford Motor Company (1947-1962). In 1962, President John F. Kennedy appointment him deputy special representative for trade negotiations with the rank of ambassador. He also served under Secretary of State Christian Herter in the adoption of new tariff agreements for international trade between the U.S. and other nations. Gossett also served as president of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the American Bar Association, received the “Layman of the Year” award from the Detroit Council of Churches, and was the chairman of the national board of the United Negro College Fund.

Fun fact

William Gossett was the cousin of Winnie Mae Hall Fain, whose father F.C. Hall, funded Wiley Post’s historic flight around the world; and was married to the daughter of U.S. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes.

Oklahoma connections

Gossett came to Chickasha, Oklahoma with his parents at the age of three.









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