Professor William J. Harvey was born October 20, 1932. He graduated from the Eldon High School, in Eldon, Missouri. He was president of his senior class and selected as the best all-around student in those four years. He was runner-up for Missouri Governor of Boys State in 1949. He ranked No. 1 in state solo vocal music. He received widely recognized basketball honors. Later, in a 50-team basketball tournament in the U.S. Navy, he was a co-captain of the championship team and selected as the tournament MVP.
He graduated from the University of Missouri. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served in Korea and Indochina.
He was one of the youngest Navy officers in the Pacific fleet to be given combat and task force functional command of an Essex Class aircraft carrier, during which Navy fighters and bombers were launched and recovered.
After leaving active duty in the Navy, he graduated from the Georgetown University School of Law with a J.D. degree. He was a member of the editorial staff of the Georgetown Law Review, in which he also published, President of the Georgetown Law School student body, and President of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. During part of that time, he was employed by the Antitrust Division of the U. S. Department of Justice as a special assistant to Victor Kramer, the chief of litigation.
Upon graduation he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas D. Quinn, on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He also worked for Chief Judge Leo A. Rover, on that court. In that time, he returned to the Georgetown University School of Law and received an LL.M degree in law. Afterward, he was the law clerk to the Honorable John A. Danaher on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During that time he also worked for the Honorable Warren E. Burger, who later became the Chief Justice of the United States.
He was a professor of law at the Washburn University Law School in Topeka, Kansas, the first president of that University’s faculty senate, and he was a lecturer at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka. While on the Washburn faculty he collaborated with his law student and friend Dr. M. Martin Halley, a cardiac surgeon, to develop the first widely used legal and medical definition for determining whether a person is legally considered dead. Their work was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and elsewhere.
In 1968, Professor Harvey joined the faculty of Indiana University at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. He formally retired from the Law School faculty in 1997 and from all professorial counseling of law students in 2002.
He was the Law School’s Dean from 1973–1979, and its first Titled Professor: the Carl M. Gray Professor of Law. He received twelve student awards as the outstanding faculty professor of the year, during the years when such awards were made. For ten years he was a member of Indiana University’s Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Committee.
Among his many distinguished students were Vice President and Mrs. Dan Quayle, Vice President-elect Governor Mike Pence, Governor Mitch Daniels, United States Senator Dan Coats, Honorable Dan Manion, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Honorable Margaret Robb, Indiana Court of Appeals, Honorable Cale Bradford, Indiana Court of Appeals, United States Congressman Todd Rokita, and United States Attorney Deborah Daniels.
For twenty two years, he served on the Indiana Supreme Court’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. For twenty-three years, he lectured in the Indiana Bar Review course. He lectured at the Defense Information School of the U. S. Department of Defense, and he extensively lectured in Continuing Legal Educational Programs. He was admitted to practice in Indiana, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Kansas. He was an active member of the Indiana Bar Association and its Trial Lawyers Section.
Professor Harvey wrote twenty-five volumes that were published by West Publishing Company. He also wrote over four hundred other articles and columns for the Indiana Bar Association, for law reviews, and other publications.
He was published by The Wall Street Journal, and in journals of opinion such as National Review, the American Spectator, and Chronicles. He appeared on national television in NBC’s Today Program, and as a guest on his friend William F. Buckley’s Firing Line. For several years he was a popular, regular guest speaker on the weekday radio show of Greg Garrison, a distinguished former student.
He authored legal-medical articles and comments that were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Modern Medicine, the Kansas Medical Journal, and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Professor Harvey participated in major litigation in state and federal courts in Indiana and in the U. S. Supreme Court. On five occasions, the Indiana Supreme Court requested he defend it in law suits brought against that Court. He was a lead trial attorney for the successful defense of the Carmel-Clay Schools of Carmel, Indiana before Federal District Judge S. Hugh Dillin in the Indianapolis School Desegregation Case in 1973.
In defense of the State of Indiana in 1977, he wrote a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States that was granted without full briefing or oral argument, and reversed the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit which had affirmed Judge Dillin, who had ruled against Indiana and Governor Otis R. Bowen.
Professor Harvey wrote briefs in several major state and federal cases, and he worked extensively on cases with the Pacific Legal Foundation of Sacramento, California, and the Washington Legal Foundation or Washington, D.C.
He was strongly committed to the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, and was a member of its Board of Directors for more than thirty five years.
President Reagan appointed him to be a member of the Advisory Committee on Accreditation of Colleges and Universities to the U. S. Secretary of Education, and to be Chairman of the Board of Directors of the national Legal Services Corporation.
In 1985, President Reagan selected him for nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Illinois.
In the 1996, Governor Evan Bayh of Indiana appointed him as Sagamore of the Wabash, one of the highest honors bestowed in the State of Indiana.
He was an insatiable reader with an extraordinary knowledge and understanding of law, history, philosophy, and economics. From 1956 until his death, he was a member of the United States Naval Institute. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Society of Descendents of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge.
Professor Harvey was also an outstanding amateur golfer. He was the medalist and then runner-up in the Missouri State Amateur Golf Championship. He won several amateur tournaments. For a time, he held the course record on two courses and his home course in Missouri. He was a member of the Country Club of Indianapolis, and later the Meridian Hills Country Club of Indianapolis.