Court of Appeals

Former judges

photo of retired Judge Robert C. CannonRobert C. Cannon

District I (1978-1981); Presiding Judge (1978-1979)

When twenty-seven year old Robert C. Cannon defeated a sitting judge for a place on the Milwaukee civil court in 1946, he was believed to be the youngest judge ever elected in the United States. "I spent only $700 or $800," he recalled later, "but I made six or seven speeches a night for three months."

Thirty-five years later he retired after a judicial career that included twenty-five years in Milwaukee circuit court and three years in District I of the appellate court.

Of all the new judges on the Court of Appeals in 1978, Cannon was considered to be the most widely known because of his long association with sports. For six years he had been legal adviser to the Major League Players Association and, according to the Milwaukee Sentinel , had come within one vote of being offered the job of commissioner of baseball. The article called him "probably the key man in getting baseball to return to Milwaukee."

He earned his law degree from Marquette University in 1941 and was a special assistant U.S. district attorney until his election to the civil court. He was chairman of the Wisconsin Board of Circuit Judges and Milwaukee County Board of Judges. In retirement, Cannon is a reserve judge and frequently speaks in public on the subjects of sports and the judiciary.

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