Kathryn J. DuFour

Kathryn J. DuFour (March 19, 1910 — February 4, 2005)[1] was the first female judge in the Maryland Circuit Courts. The law library at The Catholic University of America is named in her honor.[2]

Early life and education

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, DuFour was a teenage actress, playing small roles for MGM and Fox Studios, until her mother forced her to stop acting and finish high school. After marrying a trial attorney and moving to Maryland, DuFour pursued law herself, graduating from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1935. After law school, she worked as a private attorney and for the Legal Aid Bureau and raised two children.[2]


In 1950, she was elected to the Montgomery County Council. In 1953, she was appointed to the Maryland General Assembly by Governor Theodore McKeldin. In 1955, she was appointed as a judge in the Maryland Sixth Judicial Circuit Court. In 1967, she became the first female chief judge on the same circuit.


  1. Schudel, Matt (February 10, 2005). "Pioneering Judge Kathryn DuFour Dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  2. "Maryland Women's Hall of Fame: Kathryn J. DuFour". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
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