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District Attorney of Philadelphia

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Title: District Attorney of Philadelphia  
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Subject: Philadelphia mayoral election, 2015, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dallas County District Attorney, Mumia Abu-Jamal, R. Seth Williams
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District Attorney of Philadelphia

The Office of the District Attorney of Philadelphia is the largest prosecutor's office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million citizens of the City and County of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] The current District Attorney of Philadelphia is Seth Williams. The District Attorney represents the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City & County of Philadelphia in all criminal and other prosecutions.[2]

The District Attorney is an elected-office and terms begin on the first Monday in January following the election.[2] Prior to 1850, the functions of this office were performed by a deputy State Attorney-General. An Act of 3 May 1850 P.L. 654 authorized the voters of each of Pennsylvania's counties to elect one person, of requisite legal background to serve as District Attorney for a term of three years.[2] The term was extended to four years under the State Constitution of 1874, Article 14.[3][2]

List of District Attorneys of Philadelphia

District Attorney Term Political party
Horn R. Kneass 1850 – 1851 Republican
William B. Reed 1851 – 1856 Republican
William B. Mann 1856 – 1868 Republican (On November 3, 1856, Lewis C. Cassidy had been elected district attorney but his election was successfully contested by William B. Mann.)[2]
Furman Sheppard 1868 – 1869 Republican
Charles Gibbons 1869 – 1870 Republican(On November 2, 1868, Furman Shepard was duly elected and sworn-in as District Attorney, however, Mr. Gibbons contested the election and the court declared him the victor, in 1870 the court realized a tabulation error and reappointed Furmand.[2]
Furman Sheppard 1870 – 1871 Republican
William B. Mann 1871 – 1875 Republican
Furman Sheppard 1875 – 1878 Republican
Henry S. Hagert 1878 – 1881 Republican
George S. Graham 1880 – 1899 Republican (Elected Nov. 2, 1880, declined to be a candidate in 1899, later elected to the US House of Representatives in 1912)[4]
Williams Evens Crow 1899 – 1902 Republican
John Weaver 1902 – 1903 Republican (Elected in 1901 and left office after being elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1903.)[5][6]
John C. Bell 1903 – 1907 Republican (Appointed in 1903 to fill term of John Weaver, reelected 1904, declined renomination)[6]
Samuel P. Rotan 1906 – 1926 Republican (First elected in 1906, died in office)[6]
Charles Edwin Fox 1926–1928 Republican (First Jewish DA in Philadelphia)[7][8]
John Monaghan 1928 – 1931 Republican[9][10]
Charles F. Kelley 1931 – 1941 Republican (died in office)[11][12]
John H. Maurer 1941 – 1952 Republican
Richardson Dilworth January 7, 1952 – January 2, 1956 Democratic (elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1955)[13]
Victor H. Blanc January 2, 1956 – January 8, 1962 Democratic[14][15][16]
James C. Crumlish, Jr. January 8, 1962 – January 3, 1966 Democratic (Appointed district attorney to finish out the four-year term of Victor Blanc, who had been named a judge, later a longtime Commonwealth Court Judge, himself.) [17][18]
Arlen Specter January 3, 1966 – January 7, 1974 Republican (two four-year terms, lost his pursuit to a third term in 1973 general election.)[19]
F. Emmett Fitzpatrick January 7, 1974 – January 2, 1978 Democratic (lost 1977 primary election to Ed Rendell)
Edward G. Rendell January 2, 1978 – January 6, 1986 Democratic (elected to two four-year terms)
Ronald D. Castille January 6, 1986 – March 12, 1991 Republican (elected two four-year terms, resigned his office for an unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Philadelphia)
Lynne Abraham May 15, 1991 – January 4, 2010 Democratic (succeeded Ron Castille; elected to four four-year terms)
Seth Williams January 4, 2010 – present Democratic (incumbent)


  1. ^ Phila.Gov | Office of the District Attorney : R. Seth Williams:
  2. ^ a b c d e f John Hill Martin (1883). Martin's bench and bar of Philadelphia:together with other lists of persons appointed to administer the laws in the city and county of Philadelphia, and the province and commonwealth of Pennsylvania. R. Welsh & co. p. 87. 
  3. ^ [1] District Attorney, Office of the: Agency Information
  4. ^ [2] GRAHAM, George Scott - Biographical Information:, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  5. ^ "PHILADELPHIA'S MAYOR ENDS GAMBLERS' SWAY - New Executive Carries Out One Promised Reform. " Machine" Lets Him Name Director of Public Safety, but Continues Con- trol Over the Public Works.". New York Times. April 12, 1903. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Hudson, Samuel (1909). Pennsylvania and Its Public Men.  
  7. ^ [3] Philadelphia Bar Association Legends of the Bar
  8. ^ "Charles Edwin Fox Elected District Attorney in Philadelphia.". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 14 January 1926. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "CORRUPTION: In Philadelphia". Time Magazine. October 8, 1928. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "CORRUPTION: In Philadelphia". Time Magazine. September 17, 1928. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "In Philadelphia". Indiana Evening Gazette. September 16, 1931. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "District Attorney Dies in Car". The Titusville (PA.) Herald. October 3, 1941. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  13. ^ [4], Richardson Dilworth papers (Collection 3112), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  14. ^ "The Press: Crusade in Philadelphia". Time Magazine. August 13, 1956. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Events & Discoveries:AUTUMN ACROSS THE LAND, PENNSYLVANIA GIVES MUGGSY TAYLOR THE GREEN LIGHT, BATTLE OF WALDEN, NEJI WINS AGAIN, THE ROARING ROAD IN YOUR LIVING ROOM, Vindication for Muggsy". Sports Illustrated. October 28, 1957. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Weigley, Russell Frank; Edwin Wolf (1982). Philadelphia: a 300 year history. W.W. Norton. p. 660.  
  17. ^ "James C. Crumlish Jr. Judge, 72". New York Times. March 25, 1992. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Judge James C. Crumlish Jr., 71". Philadelphia Inquirer. March 18, 1992. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Arlen Specter Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -

External links

  • Phila.Gov | Office of the District Attorney : R. Seth Williams:
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