Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1928-1939
Harry Augustus Bigelow was born in Norwood, Massachusetts in 1874. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1896, where he distinguished himself as a student of English and Classics. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1899, having served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Bigelow then spent a short period in Boston as a legal clerk and a part-time instructor of criminal law at Harvard Law School. He soon moved to Honolulu, where he was active as a junior member of the Bar of the Hawaiian Islands for three years. In 1904, Dean Joseph Henry Beale persuaded Bigelow, his former student at Harvard Law School, to leave Hawaii to join the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School. Bigelow was the youngest of the early faculty members at the Law School, not yet 30 years of age. He would go on to spend the next 46 years as an active and invaluable member of the University of Chicago Law School community.
Bigelow married Mary Parker in 1902. Partial to big game hunting, Bigelow traveled to Africa for several expeditions and took part in the first trek to cross an unexplored section of what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While serving as dean, Bigelow was selected as the trustee for the complex Insull Utility Investments, Inc. bankruptcy, the only attorney on which all parties could agree. In the last years of his life, Bigelow served as a member of the National Loyalty Review Board, a body established by President Harry S. Truman to vet the trustworthiness of federal employees. Bigelow passed away from heart failure in 1950.