James Fletcher Thornburg


James Fletcher Thornburg



James Fletcher Thornburg was born in Winchester, Indiana, on August 19, 1911. He graduated from Winchester High School in 1929 and then enrolled at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. At DePauw, he was elected to the Blue Key honor society, was President of Phi Gamma Delta, and served as the editor of the DePauw Magazine. Upon graduation, he headed to Bloomington and enrolled at the Indiana University School of Law. While in law school, he served on the Student Board of Editors of the Indiana Law Journal, was admitted to the Order of the Coif, and received his J.D. degree (1933).

Upon receiving his law degree, Thornburg joined the South Bend law firm that would eventually become Barnes & Thornburg. He remained with the firm for more than 55 years. Thornburg was a nationally recognized authority in the fields of estate planning and taxation. He served as a member of the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners, the Advisory Board of the Philip E. Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning, and the White House Advisory Group to the Commissioner of the I.R.S. He also served on the Board of Directors of many public and private companies as well as civic and charitable organizations.

Thornburg received many awards and honors, including the DePauw University Old Gold Award and the Indiana State Bar Association Presidential Citation. He was recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana) as well as a Kentucky Colonel appointment (Kentucky). In 1975, Thornburg received the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Award. He was an original member of the law school's Board of Visitors (1964) and also served on the board from 1974 to 1986. Thornburg was inducted into the Indiana University School of Law’s Academy of Law Alumni Fellows in 1986. James Fletcher Thornburg died in 1998 at the age of 87.


Maurer Alumni, Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, Barnes & Thornburg, DePauw University


Estates and Trusts | Law | Legal Biography | Legal Profession


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James Fletcher Thornburg