Fred Vinson had a distinguished career of public service. He served several terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from his home state of Kentucky. He served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for five years from 1938 to 1943. He then held several positions under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, including director of the Office of Economic Stabilization, director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, and secretary of the treasury. President Truman nominated him as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 6, 1946.