Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Morris A. Soper (1873-1963)
MSA SC 3520-13516
Chief Judge, Baltimore City Supreme Bench, 1914-1921
24th President, Maryland State Bar Association, 1919-1920
Judge, U.S. District Court of Maryland, 1923-1931
Judge, U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals, 1931-1963


Born Morris Ames Soper January 23, 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland.  Son of Samuel O. Soper and Sarah Hiss Soper.  Attended public schools and Baltimore City College.  Received B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1893.  Graduated, University of Maryland Law School, 1895.  Admitted to the Bar, June 4, 1895.  Married, Grace Woodward Parker Soper (d. 1958); no children. Died, Baltimore Maryland, March 11, 1963.
Assistant State's Attorney, Baltimore City, 1897-1900.  Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1900-1909. Practiced in partnership with Eli Frank and John Carter Rose until 1910; German H.H. Emory; later with firm of Soper, Bowie & Clark.  Unsuccessful Republican candidate for State's Attorney for Baltimore City, 1903; Attorney General of Maryland, 1911.  Appointed Chief Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, January, 1914.  President, Maryland State Bar Association, 1919-1920; pushed for important administrative and organizational reforms within the judiciary.  Resigned from Supreme Bench, October 15, 1921; returned to private practice.  Judge, U.S. District Court of Maryland, 1923-1931.  Appointed to U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals, 1931.  Entered "qualified retirement," 1955; continued to hear serve on the bench until his death in 1963.  Issued a number of rulings that advanced school desegregation.  Chair, Board of Trustees, Morgan State College; helped bring the school into the Maryland State System.  Member, Board of Trustees, Goucher College.  Chair, Maryland State Commission of Higher Education for Negroes, 1930s.  Fellow, American Bar Federation.  Member, American Law Institute.  

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