Judge William H. Webster
The distinguished career of law school alumnus, Judge William H. Webster, reflects a lifelong commitment to public service and the legal profession. He previously directed the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri; and served as a judge both on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Among his many professional appointments, he serves as chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and is a member of the law school’s National Council.
Judge Webster, born March 6, 1924, is a St. Louis native who grew up in Webster Groves. He received his B.A. in 1947 from Amherst College, where, in 1975, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. He earned his J.D. from Washington University in 1949. Also, he served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War. He worked as a practicing attorney in St. Louis and, most recently, Judge Webster retired from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a partner.
He has received numerous awards and honors, including: the Presidential Medal of Freedom; National Security Medal; Man of the Year, 1980, by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; the Riot Relief Fund Award in New York City; the August 1983, International Platform Association Theodore Roosevelt Award for excellence in public service; the Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, June 1984; the Freedoms Foundation National Service Medal in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, May 1985; the First Annual Patrick V. Murphy Award from the Police Foundation, Washington, D.C., for distinguished service in law enforcement; Father of the Year for Public Service in May 1986, by the National Father's Day Committee; Washington University Alumni Citation for contributions to the field of law; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Washington University Law School in 1977; the William Greenleaf Elliot Award from Washington University, May 1981; the Fordham Law School Louis Stein Award, October 1982; the 1986 Thomas Jefferson Award in Law from the University of Virginia; and honorary degrees from DePauw University, William Woods College, Drury College, Washington University, Columbia College, University of Dayton School of Law, University of Notre Dame, Centre College, Dickinson School of Law, University of Miami, DePaul University, The American University, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University, the University of Colorado Law School Board of Visitors, and the National Advisory Board of the American University.
Over the course of his career, Judge Webster’s memberships have included the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute and its Council, the Order of the Coif, the Missouri Bar Integrated, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Bar Association. He also served as Chairman of the Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section of the American Bar Association; and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.