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Edward Huggins Johnstone

Edward H. Johnstone
Senior Judge, U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Kentucky
In office
October 22, 1993 – June 26, 2013
Chief Judge, U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Kentucky
In office
Judge, U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Kentucky
In office
October 11, 1977 – 1985,
1990 – October 22, 1993
Nominated by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by James F. Gordon
Judge, 56th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Kentucky
In office
Judge, Princeton, Kentucky Police Court
In office
Personal details
Born (1922-04-26)April 26, 1922
São Paulo, Brazil
Died June 26, 2013(2013-06-26) (aged 91)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Kay Johnstone
Children 4
  • William Johnnstone
Alma mater J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law, 1949
Occupation Judge, prosecutor
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Sergeant
Unit 9th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Battle of the Bulge
Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star

Edward Huggins Johnstone (April 26, 1922 – June 26, 2013) was a United States federal judge.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Death 3
  • References 4

Early life and education

Johnstone was born on April 26, 1922, in São Paulo, Brazil, the son of William Johnstone, a noted horticulturalist. He grew up in Paducah, Kentucky and attended high school in Lexington. After graduation, he attended the University of Kentucky until 1942, when he dropped out to join the United States Army.[1]


Johnstone was a sergeant in the 9th Infantry Division during World War II, serving from 1942 to 1945. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning a Bronze Star Medal and Silver Star Medal for his gallantry.[1]

Returning home, Johnstone resumed his studies, earning a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1949. He married Kay Johnstone and had four children.[1] He was in private practice in Princeton, Kentucky from 1949 to 1976, and was the Princeton city attorney from 1952 to 1954. He was a City attorney of Kuttawa, Kentucky from 1954 to 1976 and of Fredonia, Kentucky from 1954 to 1976. He was also a city judge on the Princeton, Kentucky Police Court from 1954 to 1969. He was a judge of the 56th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Kentucky from 1976 to 1977.

On August 25, 1977, Johnstone was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky vacated by James F. Gordon. Johnstone was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 7, 1977, and received his commission on October 11, 1977. He served as chief judge from 1985 to 1990, and assumed senior status on October 22, 1993.

Johnstone was known as a prison reformer and compassionate liberal during his time on the bench.[1]


Johnstone died on June 26, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky at the age of 91.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Judge Edward Johnstone, Kentucky prison reformer, dead at 91". June 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
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