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Michigan Legal Milestones
42. Honoring Frank J. Kelley


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Honoring Frank J. Kelley

Frank Joseph Kelley was the 50th attorney general of the state of Michigan, serving from 1962 until 1999. He holds the distinction of being both the youngest (36 years old) and oldest (74 years old) holder of the office in the state’s history. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest serving attorney general in United States history, earning the nickname “Eternal General.” He was the first state attorney general in the United States to create consumer protection and environmental protection divisions, and he helped lead the passage of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. 

The highest award of the National Association of Attorneys General, given to the AG who did the most to further the cause of justice in the United States, bears his name, along with former Massachusetts Attorney General Henry Wyman. The pedestrian mall between the Michigan State Capital and the Hall of Justice was named the Frank J. Kelley Walkway, the Michigan State University College of Law established the Frank J. Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession, and the State Bar of Michigan created the Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award to honor the public servant who sought to “make peoples lives better.”