The 102-Year-Old Eagle Scout, Chief Justice Legend

Judges Jack Pope (left) and Steve Smith.
Judges Jack Pope (left) and Steve Smith.

Did you know the longest sitting justice in Texas Supreme Court history is an Eagle Scout? Holding the seat for 38 years, Jack Pope proves starting out an Eagle Scout can set young men on the path to set records and exceed expectations.

Now 102 years old, Pope earned Eagle in 1928. He received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award more than half a century later. But between receiving the two huge honors, Judge Pope made history.

A graduate of Abilene Christian University (ACU) and University of Texas (UT) law school, young Pope continued his student leadership. He was the Students’ Association president at ACU and student editor of of the Texas Law Review while at UT.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Pope became Texas’ youngest district judge at the time in the 94th District Court. After landing a seat in the 4th Court of Civil Appeals in San Antonio from 1950-1964, he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court.

In 1982, Judge Pope became Chief Justice for the state, and served until his retirement in 1985.

Learn more about Judge Pope by exploring the timeline of his honors below:

  • 1928 – He received the highest rank in the Boy Scouts: Eagle Scout.
  • 1983 – Judge Pope earned the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. This award from the Boy Scouts of America acknowledges Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves on a national level, receiving recognition or eminence within their fields and who have strong records of voluntary service to their communities.
  • 2009 – He earned the Texas Center for Legal Ethics’ inaugural Chief Justice Jack Pope Professional Award. This honor goes to appellate judges and lawyers who embody professionalism and integrity.
  • 2010 – The judicial section of the State Bar of Texas presented Judge Pope with its inaugural Judicial Lifetime Achievement Award at its Annual Judicial Conference.
  • April, 2013 – Judge Pope celebrated his 100th birthday and was honored with a ceremony in the Texas House of Representatives within the Texas State Capitol. The House passed a resolution in his honor, as U.S. presidents and U.S. Supreme Court justices sent congratulations letters. The congrats came from the likes of President Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Achieving more in his lifetime than many can fathom, Jack Pope’s impression on others is just as impressive. By all accounts a man of integrity and passion, Pope is the living legacy of everything an Eagle Scout can aspire toward.



Avatar photo


This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.