The Supreme Court Justice who had the longest tenure on the bench has died.
The state judicial branch says retired Justice Jerry Larson was born and raised in Harlan. He received his bachelors and law degrees from the University of Iowa. He practiced with his father in Harlan and served two terms as the Shelby County Attorney before being appointed to the district court bench in 1975.
Larson was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1978 and in September of 2007 surpassed Justice Theodore Garfield as the longest serving member of the High Court. Larson wrote 991 opinions in his 29 years on the Iowa Supreme Court. Current Chief Justice Mark Cady served with Larson for 10 years on the Supreme Court, and said his is saddened to learn of his death. He called Larson “a great mentor and better friend with a keen legal mind, a quick wit, and a deep love of the law.”
Justice Larson is survived by four children, twelve grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. One of his sons, Jeffrey Larson, is the chief judge in the Fourth Judicial District and one of his daughters, Susan Christensen, is a district judge in the Fourth District. His daughter, Rebecca Larson, is an elementary teacher in Bettendorf, Iowa, and his son, David, is an attorney in Avoca, Iowa.