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Frederick E. Crane

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Title: Frederick E. Crane  
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Subject: Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, Birth control movement in the United States, New York state election, 1913, List of Columbia Law School alumni
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Frederick E. Crane

Frederick Evan Crane (March 2, 1869, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York – November 21, 1947, Garden City, Nassau County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1935 to 1939.


He graduated LL.B. from Columbia University Law School.

He married Gertrude Craven, from Montreal, and they had a daughter Dorothy Braddock Crane.

He was a judge of the Kings County Court from 1902 to 1906, elected on the Fusion ticket headed by Seth Low for Mayor of New York City.[1]

He was a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1907 to 1920, elected on the Republican ticket. In 1913, in a suit for separation brought by Gardner L. Field against his wife Adelaide, Justice Crane held that a household is managed by the wife, not by the mother of the husband, and that a wife is not obliged to live with the husband if a mother-in-law makes the home unpleasant. He dismissed the suit, dealing a "crushing blow to the mother-in-law system."[2] In 1918, he issued a ruling which allowed doctors to prescribe contraception.[3]

In January 1917, he was appointed a judge of the New York Court of Appeals under the Amendment of 1899.[4] In 1920, he was elected to a 14-year term on the Court of Appeals. In 1934, he was elected Chief Judge on the Republican and Democratic tickets. He was the President of the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1938. He retired from the bench at the end of 1939 when he reached the constitutional age limit of 70 years.

He was buried at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

His sister Ida Elizabeth Crane was married to Judge Edwin Louis Garvin.


  1. ^ Election result in NYT on November 6, 1901
  2. ^ The suit in NYT on January 15, 1913
  3. ^ Engelman, Peter C, "Margaret Sanger", article in Encyclopedia of leadership, Volume 4, George R. Goethals, et al (Eds), SAGE, 2004, p 101-3
  4. ^ Appointed to Court of Appeals in NYT on January 16, 1917 (Note: A "designation" is an appointment which does not require the confirmation by the State Senate)


  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • [2] The justices-elect, in NYT on December 5, 1906
  • [3] Resignation from County Court, in NYT on December 27, 1906
  • [4] His daughter's engagement, in NYT on July 12, 1916
  • [5] Listing of Court of Appeals judges, with portrait
  • [6] State Court Biography
Legal offices
Preceded by
Cuthbert W. Pound
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
Irving Lehman
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