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Still active at 90, federal appeals judge is honored for creating group to help homeless veterans


It isn’t just in the courtroom that a 90-year-old federal appeals court judge has been a dynamo.

Judge Harry Pregerson, who has not taken senior status and is perhaps the longest-serving judge in the history of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was also a driving force behind a growing organization to help struggling military veterans. The judge himself is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II, wounded in service in the South Pacific. Troubled by the number of homeless veterans, he called a meeting of Los Angeles veterans, resulting in the creation 20 years ago of the group now known as U.S. VETS, writes Steve Lopez in a column for the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).

The group, which helps veterans with housing and provides support services and job-finding assistance, now has 11 sites nationally. Last month, a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives honored Pregerson and others involved in creating U.S. VETS. He was also active in establishing a “homeless court,” noted a press release from the U.S. Courts in 2001.

A 1992 profile in the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) provides further details about Pregerson. He was appointed to the court of appeals on Nov. 2, 1979, according to a 9th Circuit seniority list, and is known for calling it as he sees it, both on and off the bench.

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