William J. Brady Jr., 91, municipal court judge

William J. Brady Jr.
William J. Brady Jr.
Posted: April 18, 2014

William J. Brady Jr., 91, of Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge for three decades, died Monday, April 7, of kidney failure at Good Shepherd Penn Partners.

Judge Brady was the son of William John Brady, also a lawyer and judge in Philadelphia.

Between the judge and his father, there was a William J. Brady working in Center City for the better part of a century before the judge's health failed in December 2013, said his son, William J. III, a venture capitalist for the technology industry.

While attending St. Joseph's Preparatory School in the late 1930s, Judge Brady, known as "Bill," excelled in football, basketball, and tennis. He led the Prep to the football city title over Northeast High School at Municipal Stadium in 1939, rushing for two touchdowns and more than 200 yards.

He then enrolled in his father's alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. He played football, was MVP of the freshman team, and also lettered in basketball. He enlisted in the Air Force, serving for four years during World War II.

After the war, Judge Brady went to Harvard University, where he played football and basketball, and became friends with Robert F. Kennedy. Judge Brady graduated in 1948, and received a law degree from the University of Kansas in 1953.

Judge Brady was one of the first Pennsylvania delegates to commit to John F. Kennedy for president.

In the early years of the Kennedy administration, he worked in the Justice Department, managing U.S. attorneys across the country. He also worked on Robert F. Kennedy's successful New York senatorial campaign.

Later, he played a role in Dick Thornburgh's successful 1978 run for governor of Pennsylvania.

But Philadelphia was the city that Judge Brady loved, and where he spent his career as a Municipal Court judge starting in 1980.

He savored everything about the city - from his childhood on Poplar Street, to the courtrooms in City Hall, to the Chestnut Hill Local he rode weekdays for decades. After stepping down from the bench in 2009, Judge Brady became a lawyer. He never retired.

He always enjoyed competitive sports, including on the grass tennis courts at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill. "It was very difficult to beat him in tennis," his son said.

In 1950, Judge Brady married Lois Barrett. They were together for 57 years. She died in 2007.

Surviving, beside his son, are daughters Lois Brady Van Allen and Anna Brady Evans; and five grandchildren.

Burial was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Plans for a public memorial were pending.


 

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