In this biography, Dennis K. Boman recounts Limbaugh’s legal career, which spanned most of the twentieth century and included a number of important events in Missouri history. His legal prowess first came to wider public notice when he managed the impeachment trial of state treasurer Larry Brunk, who was accused of misconduct in office. Among his later achievements was presiding over the infamous 1935 case Ware vs. Muench, in which a young woman sued for the return of her infant son. The case gained widespread attention, and the daily courtroom proceedings were reported in detail by newspapers across the United States. His legal opinion in the case was widely quoted and upheld by the Supreme Court of Missouri.
In the midst of the Great Depression, as a state legislator, although a member of the minority party, Limbaugh led the effort to pass significant legislation, including the more fair distribution of the state tax burden, the founding of the Missouri state highway patrol, and the construction of state roads. In the late 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Limbaugh to represent the United States as a goodwill ambassador to India.
As a respected lawyer, Limbaugh was selected to serve on different civil rights commissions. First a member of the American Bar Association’s Special Committee on the Bill of Rights, he later was appointed its chair. This committee investigated the circumstances of African Americans, especially in the South, and sought to find practical ways to end racial discrimination and segregation. Moreover, he served as a member of the Special Committee on Civil Rights and Social Unrest in 1964 and 1965, as well as a commissioner on the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and Responsibilities, which examined violations of civil rights and led to legislation to protect non-whites from discrimination.
Boman conducted personal interviews with many members of the Limbaugh family, whose candid answers add invaluable insights into Limbaugh’s character and career. Boman delves into Limbaugh’s memoirs, family correspondence, and personal papers, as well as newspaper accounts, to chronicle the life of a man who served his state and country until his death at the age of 104.
About the Author
Dennis K. Boman is Assistant Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law at Saint Louis University Law School and is the author of several books, including Lincoln and the Citizens’ Rights in Civil War Missouri: Balancing Security and Freedom.
Published by University of Missouri Press, hardback, 2012. 312 pages. 10 illustrations.