- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Retired Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Rudolph Hargrave died Tuesday at age 89.

The office of Chief Justice Tom Colbert confirmed Hargrave’s death. Supreme Court officials said plans for funeral services for Hargrave have not been announced.

Hargrave was born in Shawnee on Feb. 15, 1925, and lived in Wewoka. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Hargrave served as a county and district judge in Seminole County from 1964 until 1978, when he was appointed to the state’s highest court by then-Gov. David L. Boren.

Hargrave was retained on the bench continuously for full six-year terms until his retirement in 2010. He was elected chief justice of the Supreme Court in 1989 and served a second two-year term in 2001.

While chief justice, he was elected by the National Conference of Chief Justices as vice president, the only Oklahoma Supreme Court justice to ever serve in that position.

Hargrave was recently honored by the namesake “Hargrave Prize” award, first given in 2013 as recognition of the best three faculty papers of the Sovereignty Symposium.

Justice Douglas Combs of Shawnee, who succeeded Hargrave, said it has been a challenge to follow someone who was as accomplished and knowledgeable about the law as Hargrave.

“I have the great fortune of following him,” Combs said. “He was a wonderful person and a great jurist. He’ll be missed. He was a great man.”

Hargrave is survived by his wife, Madeline, and their three children.

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