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Kenneth Koch Woodley (1892-1972)

Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1953-1967
Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1967-1970

Kenneth Koch Woodley was born July 5, 1892, in Moulton, Texas. He attended public schools and Lakeside Institute in San Antonio. He continued his studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown from 1909 to 1911, and completed a law degree at Cumberland University Law School, Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1913. He was licensed to practice law in Texas that year, but went on to earn a second law degree at The University of Texas in 1916.

Woodley practiced law in Austin from 1913 to 1915, and in Sabinal, west of San Antonio in Uvalde County, from 1918 to 1937. He served as Uvalde County attorney from 1919 to 1923, as district attorney of the Thirty-eighth Judicial District from 1927 to 1937, and as judge of the Thirty-eighth Judicial District from 1937 to 1950.

In 1950 Woodley was appointed a commissioner of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. When Tom L. Beauchamp retired in 1953, Woodley was elected to succeed him as a judge on the court. He was reelected in 1958 and 1964. In 1967 Gov. John Connally appointed him the court's presiding judge. Woodley served in that capacity until retiring from the court in 1970.

Woodley died April 30, 1972 at the age of seventy-nine. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.


Kenneth K. Woodley, 35 Texas Bar Journal 628 (June 22, 1972).

Kenneth Woodley, Texas State Cemetery (accessed December 7, 2006).