HARTFORD — US District Judge Warren W. Eginton, the longest-serving federal judge in Connecticut history, has died, his family said Tuesday. He was 95.
Judge Eginton, who continued working until days before his death, died Monday in hospice care in Redding after battling an illness, his children said.
Appointed as a federal judge by former President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Judge Eginton served for more than 40 years on the bench. In recent years, he served as a senior judge, a form of semiretirement with a flexible caseload that is available to long-serving judges.
His daughter, Andrea Seaton, said he and former law clerks held a party Friday celebrating his life before he went into hospice care. ‘‘He lived a full life and you can’t be sad about that,’’ Seaton said.
In 1981, Judge Eginton presided over a trial involving extortion claims against six men who were working in the Bridgeport area for Mafia-connected loan sharks. The defendant was a Hell’s Angel member described at the time as the most dangerous man in Connecticut and Judge Eginton had US Marshals living at his home for at least two weeks during the trial. His specialty was product liability work that took him around the country to help other courts with cases.
Most recently, Judge Eginton picked a jury this year and presided over a smoker liability case against RJ Reynolds Tobacco that was eventually settled out in court.
Judge Eginton was born in Brooklyn in 1924. He served in the Philippines during World War II and remained in the US Army Reserve until 1970s, his family said.
He graduated from Princeton University in 1948 and Yale Law School in 1951.