John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from December 19, 1975 until his retirement on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest member of the Court and the third-longest serving justice in the Court's history. He was nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace the Court's longest serving justice, William O. Douglas. Stevens is widely considered to have been on the liberal side of the Court. Ford praised Stevens in 2005: "He is serving his nation well, with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns." Asked in an interview in September 2007 if he still considers himself a Republican, Stevens declined to comment.
Stevens served with three Chief Justices (Warren E. Burger, William Rehnquist, and John G. Roberts).
Stevens was born on April 20, 1920, in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois, to a wealthy family. His paternal grandfather had formed an insurance company and held real estate in Chicago, while his great-uncle owned the Chas A. Stevens department store. His father, Ernest James Stevens, was a lawyer who later became a hotelier, owning two hotels, the La Salle and the Stevens Hotel. He lost ownership of the hotels during the Great Depression and was convicted of embezzlement (the conviction was later overturned). (The Stevens Hotel was subsequently bought by Hilton Hotels and is today the Chicago Hilton and Towers.) His mother, Elizabeth Maude Street Stevens, a native of Michigan City, Indiana, was a high school English teacher. Two of his three older brothers also became lawyers.