Justice Frederick P. Close was born in 1875 in South Colton, St. Lawrence County. He was educated at the State Normal School in Potsdam, graduating in 1900. For the next five years, Close studied law at the office of Lowen E. Ginn and Charles A. Murphy while serving as principal of a Colton high school. He was admitted to the Bar in 1906 and began practicing law that year.
From 1913 to 1924, Close served as Village Attorney of Tuckahoe and Supervisor of the Town of Eastchester. From 1922 to 1924, he was chairman of the County Board of Supervisors. In 1928, he won election as county judge. In 1930, he was elected to the Supreme Court, and during his term there, in 1935, Close wrote the decision that declared the Fair Trade Act of New York unconstitutional for violations of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. In 1939, Gov. Herbert H. Lehman designated him to the Appellate Division, Second Department. In 1943, he was named presiding justice by Gov. Thomas E. Dewey. He left the bench when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
For six years following his retirement, Close served as an official Supreme Court referee. He remained active, practicing law at the firm of Close, Griffiths, McCarthy & Gaynor and serving as general counsel and a director of the National Bank of Westchester.
He had a daughter, Dorothy. He died on March 10, 1962 in Bronxville, NY at the age of 86.
“Frederick Close, Retired Justice.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 31. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Mar 12 1962. Web. 24 Aug. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/116004263?accountid=8012.
“Frederick P. Close.” Biographical information sheets. Appellate Division, Second Department Library, Brooklyn.
“Justice Close’s Decision Voiding State’s ‘Fair Trade’ Act.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 17. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Nov 19 1935. Web. 13 Sep. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/101296185?accountid=8012.