Blair Moody Jr.

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Served from 1977 through 1982


Blair Moody Jr. was born on February 27, 1928, in Detroit, Michigan. He attended public schools in the Washington, D.C., area where his father served for many years as a writer and as Washington bureau chief for the Detroit News, and later as United States Senator from Michigan.

Moody attended the University of Michigan, working during the summers as a reporter for both the Detroit News and the Washington Post. He received his A.B. degree in 1949, and his LL.B. degree in 1952. Moody married Mary Lou Kennedy on August 18, 1951. Upon graduation from law school, he served on active duty in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.  After his release from military service, Moody returned to Michigan and entered private law practice in Detroit. He was first an associate, and later partner, of Robert A. Sullivan, Rex Eames, William B. Elmer, and William J. Petrillo.

Despite the heavy demands of his law practice and the strong commitment to his family life, he nevertheless took an active role in the Democratic Party at all levels. He was particularly proud to have served as Chairman of “Citizens for Kennedy” during the 1960 campaign.

Moody was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in November of 1976. He was most strict on decorum, and he believed that the conduct of persons in court should be the same as the conduct of persons in church because the adjudication of rights, to him, was a sacred matter.

At his funeral it was stated that, “It seems cruel irony that Blair Moody’s heart gave out on him. It never failed anyone else.” Moody died on November 26, 1982, while in service to the Michigan Supreme Court. (Michigan Supreme Court. Michigan Reports: Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Michigan. Rochester N.Y., Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co., 1949 – 1998, Vol. 429.)

Portrait presented on: (Click link to read transcript)
September 23, 1987

Portrait Artist:
Maniscalco, Robert

Oil on canvas

39 1/2″ X 29 1/2″

Owned by:
State of Michigan

Current location:
Hall of Justice – 6th Floor:
Chief Justice Bridget McCormack’s Suite

Portrait photo by:
Doug Elbinger, Lansing – June 1996