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Oldest sitting federal judge in history dies at 104

Published Jan. 25, 2012

WICHITA, Kan. — U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown, the nation's oldest sitting federal judge in history, died Monday night (Jan. 23, 2011) at age 104.

Judge Brown died at the Wichita assisted living center where he lived, his law clerk, Nanette Turner Kalcik, said Tuesday.

During his long tenure, he repeatedly tried to explain why he had not yet fully retired from the federal bench.

"As a federal judge, I was appointed for life or good behavior, whichever I lose first," Judge Brown quipped in a 2011 interview with the Associated Press. He was appointed in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

He came to work at the federal courthouse every day until about a month ago when his health deteriorated, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten said. Judge Brown then had his law clerks bring work to the hospital and later to the assisted living center while he recuperated.