John W.H. Crim (1921-1923)
Early History: John William Henry Crim was born in 1879 in Loudoun County, Virginia. He graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1901 and from New York Law School in 1906. In 1906, he was appointed from the law office of John S. and H.A. Wise as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), working under U.S. Attorney Henry L. Stimson on investigations of New York Central Railroad and the sugar trusts. In 1909, he became an AUSA in SDNY.
Around 1912, Mr. Crim returned to private practice, working on high-profile cases and representing individuals such as railroad magnate Charles S. Mellen and self-ordained “king of lobbyists” Colonel Martin Mulhall.
Tenure: In August 1921, Mr. Crim was appointed by President Warren Harding as Assistant Attorney General “in charge of Criminal Matters”. He was the second Assistant Attorney General to lead what is now the Criminal Division.
Later Career: From 1924 to 1925, Mr. Crim served as a special assistant to Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone, and was placed in charge of Veterans Bureau prosecutors. He also conducted investigations that resulted in the convictions of Congressman John W. Langley and former FBI investigator Gaston B. Means. In 1926, he received an honorary LL.D. from William & Mary.
Mr. Crim left the Department and re-entered private practice. He died in 1933, survived by his wife Amelia Goodyear and a daughter. He is buried in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Crim Dell, considered to be one of William & Mary’s most scenic areas, and its famous wooden bridge are named after Mr. Crim.
This material is based on the review of a variety of historical sources and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you have any corrections or additional information about this individual or about the history of the Criminal Division, please contact the Division.