William Henry Moody

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William Henry Moody (23 December, 1853 – 2 July, 1917) served as the thirty-fifth Secretary of the Navy from 1902 through 1904.

Life & Career

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

William Moody was born 23 December, 1853 in Newberry, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts in 1872 and then from Harvard in 1876. Two years later his law studies paid off when he was admitted to the bar in 1878. He practiced law in Haverhill, Massachusetts and served as city solicitor from 1888 to 1890 and district attorney for the eastern district of Massachusetts from 1890 through 1895. Moody was elected to the House of Representatives in as a Republican in 1895 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Cogswell. He served three terms in Congress, making a reputation by his knowledge of parliamentary procedure and his perseverance in debate.

Moody resigned from Congress in 1902 after his appointment as Secretary of the Navy by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902. He spent the next three years at the Navy Department, until he was nominated by Roosevelt as Attorney General of the United States on July 1, 1904. He left the office of Attorney General on December 12, 1906 after appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Moody served on the Supreme Court from 16 December until his retirement, on account of ill health, by a special act of Congress approved 23 June, 1910.

Moody died in Haverhill, Massachusetts on 2 July, 1917. The Navy named the new Destroyer No. 277 in his honor.

See Also


  • McDonough, Judith Rene (1983). William Henry Moody. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Auburn, Alabama: Auburn University.


Naval Appointments
Preceded by
John D. Long
Secretary of the Navy
1 May, 1902 – 30 Jun, 1904
Succeeded by
Paul Morton