William Dewitt Mitchell was born in Winona, Minnesota, on September 9, 1874. He received his A.B. from the University of Minnesota in 1895, his LL.B. from that institution in 1896, and was admitted to the Minnesota bar. He began practicing law in St. Paul. Mitchell served as an infantry officer during the Spanish American War and World War I. On June 4, 1925, he was appointed Solicitor General of the United States. President Hoover appointed him Attorney General of the United States on March 4, 1929, and he held that office until March 4, 1933. Mitchell returned to New York City to practice law. He was named chairman of the Committee on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and chief counsel of the joint congressional committee investigating the Pearl Harbor disaster. He died on August 24, 1955, in Syosset, New York.