Warren Ballard, law professor

Warren M. Ballard
Warren M. Ballard
Posted: July 28, 2013

Warren McElroy Ballard, 102, a professor emeritus at Temple University's School of Law, died Thursday, July 18, of natural causes at his home in Catonsville, Md.

A native of St. Louis, Dr. Ballard lived in the same house in Wyndmoor for 51 years before moving in 2002 to a retirement community in Catonsville.

As a young man, he was a precocious student. He completed high school in Maplewood, Mo., and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in 1932 and a master's degree in 1933, both in political science with honors. He went on to receive a law degree from Virginia in 1936.

Dr. Ballard was admitted to the bar in Virginia in 1936, and joined a law firm in New York and a public-financing corporation in Washington before deciding he needed to refocus his career.

His true passion was teaching law, so he did postgraduate work for aspiring law professors at Yale University. In 1940, Temple hired Dr. Ballard for a long career that ended in 1978 with his official retirement.

He taught day students and those who took evening classes. He had a soft spot for the latter because, he said, they "learned more because they could apply the interpretation of the law to practical work experience."

In a May 20, 1978, letter, Peter Liacouras, then dean of the Temple Law School and later the university's president, lauded Dr. Ballard on the occasion of his retirement.

He "performed his duties as a faculty member with a razor-sharp mind and courtliness, which he combined with encyclopedic scholarly study and practical insights," Liacouras wrote.

"He became a strong supporter and indefatigable worker in our affirmative action process in admissions. I will remember Warren for his honesty, reliability, fidelity to the profession, and his abiding social conscience."

As was common during World War II, Dr. Ballard took a leave from Temple to join the Navy. He worked in Philadelphia for the Naval District Intelligence Office and was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander late in 1945.

In 1951, he moved his family to Wyndmoor, where for more than a decade he was active in Democratic politics in Springfield Township.

Dr. Ballard was a member of organizations such as the American Bar Association, American Law Institute, Philadelphia Cricket Club, and the Second Baptist Church of Germantown. He was honored for 60 years with the Philadelphia Bar Association in June 2013.

He enjoyed attending the Philadelphia Orchestra concerts for many years, and later, the Baltimore Symphony.

His first marriage in 1942 was to Mary Katherine Thorp, whom he met at Virginia. They dated by going to lectures and debates. They had four children. She died in 1968.

He met his second wife, Anne Horn, on a Temple faculty outing - a mule-drawn barge ride in New Hope. The two married in 1975. In retirement, they traveled to Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia, and Mexico.

In December 2010, family and neighbors celebrated his 100th birthday with a party in Baltimore.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are daughters Elizabeth T., Mary Warren Jenkins, and Margaret M.; stepdaughters Christine Jensen, Evelyn Bradley, and Joan Masover; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A son died in 2004.

Services will be later in Catonsville.

Contributions may be made to Temple University Beasley School of Law, c/o director of development, 1719 N. Broad St., Philadelphia 19122.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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