2001 Laureates

Thomas G. Hull

Tom Hull was born in Greeneville, Tenn., in 1926, to Carrie Gray Hull and Hayes Hull, the town's blacksmith.

Following graduation from Greeneville High School in 1944, he served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge; the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star; and the Army of Occupation Ribbon (Japan) and Victory Medal.

After the war, Hull attended Tusculum College and the University of Tennessee College of Law where he received his J.D. in 1951.

He practiced law in Greeneville at the firm of Easterly and Hull from 1951 to 1963, and in solo practice until his appointment as a State of Tennessee circuit judge serving Greene, Hamblen and Hawkins counties.

From 1955 to 1965, Hull represented Greene County in the Tennessee Legislature. He was chief clerk of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1969 -70; circuit judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit from 1972 to 1979; and legal counsel to Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander from 1979-1981.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Hull to the federal bench in 1983, where he handled the docket for the entire Eastern District of Tennessee. Hull served as chief judge of the district from 1984-1991.

After the death of his daughter, Amy Hull Ransdell, who was killed by a drunken driver in 1994, Hull and others successfully championed the cause for stricter DUI laws and penalties for the State of Tennessee. He and his family established the Amy Hull Ransdell Scholarship, Inc., which provides 10 $1,000.00 scholarships annually to graduating seniors from the Greeneville/Greene County schools.

A devoted family man, Hull was married to Joan Brandon Hull for 40 years, until her death in 1995. They had four children and five grandchildren. He is currently married to Helge Woerz Hull.

With his friends U.S. Reps. James H. Quillen and William L. Jenkins and, with the support of U.S. Sens. Fred Thompson and Bill Frist, Hull maneuvered for years to obtain the funding for Greeneville's second federal courthouse, which is scheduled for completion in early spring, 2001.

Hull has been active in both professional and community associations, having served as president of the United Fund of Greene County; as a board chairman for the Holston Methodist Home for Children; president of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the USO for Greene County; chairman of the Heart Association; chairman of the board for the Greene County Library, chairman of the building fund which initiated building the new library; and member of the board of trustees for Tusculum College.

In 1993, Hull was awarded a citation for "Outstanding Public Service" from The University of Tennessee College of Law.