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Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Merhige, Robert R., Jr., LL.M. 1982

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, members of Congress, ambassadors, educators, business people, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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Robert R. Merhige, Jr.

Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Robert R. Merhige, Jr. was born in New York City on February 5, 1919. He attended High Point College in North Carolina and received a LL.B. from the University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law in 1942. He served in the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945, in World War II, flying many missions in B-17 bombers. Merhige was in private practice in Richmond, Virginia from 1945 to 1967. He was a law professor at the Smithdeal-Massey School of Law from 1945 to 1948. He was a vice president and general counsel of Crass Coca-Cola Bottling Company from 1952 to 1955. On July 17, 1967, Merhige was appointed as a federal judge by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was a lecturer at the University of Virginia from 1968 to 1972. Merhige was an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law from 1973 to 1976. He received a LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982. Throughout his tenure on the court, Merhige ruled in a number of prominent cases, most famously his calling for the desegregation of Richmond’s schools through busing. Merhige assumed senior status on November 30, 1986 and retired June 8, 1998, joining the law firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia. He died on February 18, 2005 in Richmond after undergoing open heart surgery.

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