Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Judge Charles J. McLaughlin was born in Norwich on March 20, 1890, the son of Andrew L. and Rose (Cunningham) McLaughlin. His mother died while he was attending law school. His father lived until 1940, when he died at the age of eighty-four.
Judge McLaughlin was graduated from the Georgetown Preparatory School in 1910, from Georgetown University in 1914, receiving the degree of bachelor of arts, and from Yale University in 1917, where he received the degree of bachelor of laws. While a student in preparatory school and college he participated in athletics and other activities. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1917 and was subsequently commissioned a lieutenant in the aviation section of the Signal Corps, now known as the Air Service. He served with honor and distinction as a pilot in the first World War.
After his return to civilian life in 1919, he practiced law in Hartford. He was associated with the late Andrew J. Broughel for some time. For many years he was a member of the law firm of Clarke and McLaughlin. Judge McLaughlin held many public offices before he was appointed a judge. He served as United States commissioner, prosecuting attorney in the West Hartford Town Court, deputy attorney general and attorney general of the state of Connecticut and state tax commissioner. In 1941, he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court for a term of eight years from August 29, 1942.
While engaged in the practice of law, because of his trial work he was known by many lawyers in every county. As a result of this and the splendid record he made while serving in every public office which he held, his capabilities were generally recognized when he was appointed a judge. He was industrious, scholarly and well-informed upon many subjects, particularly those of public interest. Although tolerant and patient with all persons, his outstanding characteristic was his worship of and respect for integrity.
Judge McLaughlin possessed a sparkling wit and an ability to portray and describe humorous events most realistically. He enjoyed frankly discussing public affairs with his intimate friends and associates. In doing so he expressed the opinions he held of the conduct of persons or political parties with utter disregard of his affections or personal feelings.
During many years prior to his death his health limited his personal activities. Although always fond of athletics, he ceased attendance at athletic events because of his desire to conserve his strength for the performance of his judicial duties. This was a great sacrifice as, because of it, he was not often able to see his son play football, baseball and basketball.
In 1925 he married Gladys Jacobs. She and their son, Gerald, survive. The family, friends and judicial activities of Judge McLaughlin afforded him an abundance of happiness.
A summary of his character was attempted in the following resolution adopted by the trial judges of the Superior Court: "Be it
"Resolved, That the Judges of the Superior Court express their deep sorrow and grief at the death of Judge Charles J. McLaughlin of West Hartford, on March 6, 1947. During his judicial career his industry and scholarly investigation of and consideration of every problem submitted to him won for him the respect of his colleagues and that of attorneys. His good humor, in spite of constant severe physical pain and suffering, gained for him the admiration of all those who knew him.
"His death takes from this state a judge whose memory will long be affectionately associated with the judicial department."