New Book Examines the Life of Chief Justice Susie Sharp (1907-1996); Biographer Anna Hayes to Speak at Wilson Library 9/11/2008

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

Susie Marshall Sharp (1907-1996) of Reidsville, N.C., attorney and jurist, was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States. A graduate of the North Carolina College for Women and the University of North Carolina School of Law, Sharp began the practice of law in Reidsville in 1929. She served as Reidsville city attorney, 1939-1949; North Carolina superior court judge until 1962; and as supreme court justice, 1962-1979.

Sharp’s family background, her career as an attorney, judge and politician, and her previously unexamined private life are recounted in a new book by Anna Hayes, Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp.

Published by the University of North Carolina Press, the book will be launched Sept. 11, in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The free public program will be at 5:45 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room. For program information, contact Liza Terll (919-962-4207). A full event notice is available from the main UNC Library website.

In writing Without Precedent, Hayes drew heavily from the personal and professional papers of Susie Sharp which are preserved in the Southern Historical Collection (SHC). The SHC will exhibit several selected items from the Sharp Papers in the lobby of Wilson Library during the book release event. The photograph above will be among those displayed.  Join us September 11, 2008 to view other items from the Sharp papers and to hear a great presentation.

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One Response to New Book Examines the Life of Chief Justice Susie Sharp (1907-1996); Biographer Anna Hayes to Speak at Wilson Library 9/11/2008

  1. Margaret Casper says:

    Chief Susie Sharp and chief justice Bobbit were with me when I became a USA Citizen . I was a waitress at IHOP and they were my daily Customers no finer People have I met in USA I still miss them to this day.RIP MY 2 favorite customers. Margaret Casper.

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