Brett, Thomas R. | 2000
- Birth and Death Year | 1931 - Present
- Induction Year | 2000
- Profession | Jurist
- Oklahoma Connection | Brett was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Tulsa
“Talking about Thomas Brett is like what University of Oklahoma football player Billy Vessels said about Coach Bud Wilkinson: ‘ He’s just better than the rest of us – he coaches better, he looks better, he talks better, he dresses better.’ I would say the same thing about Tom Brett. He does everything better than the rest of us. No one works harder.” - Judge James O. Ellison, 1996
Judge Thomas Brett’s judicial heritage reaches back to his grandfather, Rutherford R. Brett, who served as a Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, as well as his father, John A. Brett, who was a Judge on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (1947-1965).
U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma Thomas R. Brett attended Oklahoma City’s Edgemere Elementary, Harding Junior High, and Classen High School, where he was a member of the state champion basketball team. He graduated in 1949 and entered the University of Oklahoma to study business and law. He served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and completed his law degree at OU in 1957. He and his wife, Mary, moved to Tulsa where Brett became an Assistant Tulsa County prosecutor on the staff of County Attorney J. Howard Edmondson. He moved into a local law firm in 1958 and was elected president of the Tulsa County Bar in 1965. He next became vice president (1967) and president (1970) of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Brett was appointed to the federal bench by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1979. He was a member of the OU Board of Regents and served as its president from 1977 to 1978 and established an annual scholarship at the school’s College of Law in honor of his mentor, Robert Dade Hudson, and his father, Judge John Brett.