Early Years

During his school years, Warren E. Burger was involved in a variety of intra- and extracurricular activities. He headed the student council and student court, worked for the school newspaper, played several sports and at least two instruments - while at the same time contributing to the family income through work as paperboy, camp counselor, and lifeguard. So it comes as no surprise that Burger stayed actively involved in community affairs and politics. As a young lawyer in Minnesota, while still teaching classes at the St. Paul College of Law, he was the president of the local junior chamber of commerce. In the late 1940s, Burger was a member of the governor of Minnesota's interracial commission and president of St. Paul's Council for Human Relations, demonstrating an early interest in civil rights  Throughout the greater part of his career, the Chief Justice pursued his ideas of a reform of the American penal system. He actively lobbied on behalf of rehabilitation of prisoners and tirelessly promoted his vision of prisons as "Factories with Fences."