News

Judge Edward F. Harrington ‘55 Given Edward Bennett Williams '41 Lifetime Achievement Award

Alex DiBlasi ‘23 

Staff Writer

On January 25, College of the Holy Cross alumnus, Judge Edward F. Harrington, was honored with the distinguished Edward Bennett Williams ’41 Lifetime Achievement Award for his “service to the legal profession and devotion to the College.” While at Holy Cross, Judge Harrington was a member of the Navy ROTC and graduated with honors in 1955. From 1955 to 1957, he served in the United States Navy and he later went on to soar at Boston College Law School.

The Holy Cross Legal Association (HCLA) praised Judge Harrington’s prominent legal career which spans over half a century. As a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, he was a member of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s “Hoffa Squad” which investigated the Teamsters Union. He was also part of Kennedy’s handpicked team of attorneys protecting the civil rights workers in Mississippi. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed him U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts where he battled corruption. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan nominated him for the United States District Court for Massachusetts where he served until he retired in 2013.

Photo courtesy of Holy Cross.

At the luncheon, I was able to meet Judge Harrington and learn about his professional and personal accomplishments from his colleagues, family, and friends. One of his law clerks from the1990s, Attorney Gerry D’Ambrosio emphatically stated to me that “he is a lion of the bar and he is a fantastic mentor while being a great leader and wonderful person.”

Attorney Tricia Murray shared, “I’d like to point to his profiles in political courage. Whether it was refusing to handle criminal cases once he determined that the sentencing guidelines really took the role of the judiciary away, he has always chosen the hard right over the easy road.”

Judge Edward F. Harrington’s prestigious legal career and life of civil service champion Holy Cross’ mantra, “men and women for others.” He told me that he “received not only a great education at the College of the Holy Cross, but a firm intellectual foundation.” Judge Harrington shared fond memories of his years on “The Hill” and was humbled with his recognition from the HCLA.

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