Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 228, page(s) 935


The Honorable John J. Bracken, of Hartford, a former Superior Court judge and state attorney general, died January 23, 1994, at the age of eighty-five.

Judge Bracken was born in Hartford on February 11, 1908. He was a graduate of Hartford Public High School and the Georgetown University Law School, from which he received his law degree in 1931. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar the following year.

Judge Bracken practiced law with the firm of Odlum, Bracken and Burke before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a special agent from 1942 to 1945. He was a prosecuting attorney at the Hartford Police Court from 1941 to 1942 and 1946 to 1947 and served as a judge of the Hartford City and Police Court from 1947 to 1949.

Judge Bracken was an assistant clerk of the state Senate during the 1953 legislative session and had also served as chairman of Hartford Local Draft Board No. 3.

Former Lieutenant Governor Edward N. Allen and former Hartford Mayor William H. Mortensen backed Judge Bracken in his bid for lieutenant governor in 1954, but he did not receive the Republican nomination. He was elected state attorney general that fall, a post he held from 1955 to 1959.

Judge Bracken was nominated to the Court of Common Pleas in 1965 by Governor John N. Dempsey and to the Supreme Court in 1972. He retired in 1979 but remained active as a state trial referee until shortly before his death.

"He was a meticulous, hardworking practitioner of the law," said Judge John J. Daly a former associate of Judge Bracken. Judge Daly said he had known Judge Bracken since 1950, when they worked for the same law firm.

Judge John Brennan, a friend of Judge Bracken for forty-five years, described him as an excellent trial lawyer and "a real fighter" in the courtroom. "I think he was one of the finest men I've ever known," Judge Brennan said. "He knew what was right and he did it."

He was a member of the Hartford County, Connecticut and American bar associations, the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgetown University Alumni Association.