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In Memoriam: The Honorable Walter T. McGovern

07/12/2021

The Western District of Washington is saddened to announce that Senior District Court Judge Walter T. McGovern passed away late Thursday night, July 8, 2021.  Seattle-born and bred Judge McGovern was proud of his city, community, and country.  His reputation in the legal community was unparalleled, and he epitomized the very best qualities of a tough but fair-minded judge.

Judge McGovern began his judicial career in 1959 when he joined the City of Seattle Municipal Court. In 1965 he moved to King County Superior Court, and from 1968-1971, he served on the Washington State Supreme Court. In May of 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed him to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, where he served with distinction for over 50 years. He was Chief Judge of the District from 1975-1987 when he went on senior status. He passed away at the age of 99, surrounded by his family.

A video portrait of Judge McGovern can be viewed here.