By the time Ted Goodwin appeared on in the January 1969 issue of National Geographic as the cowboy who became a judge, he had already served as associate justice of the Oregon Supreme Court for nine years. The man who was pictured on horseback preparing to rope a calf for branding was soon to be appointed U. S. District Judge for the District of Oregon by Richard Nixon. Goodwin’s appearance in the magazine marked the middle of a career that got its start at the University of Oregon and the School of Journalism.
While Goodwin earned his degree, he worked as a reporter at the Register-Guard. While in law school, he was editor-in-chief of the Oregon Law Review. In 1955, he was appointed to the local circuit court. Then in 1960 Gov. Mark Hatfield appointed him to the Oregon Supreme Court, which was followed by Nixon’s appointment to the U.S. District Court in 1969. Goodwin joined the appellate court in 1971. In 1988, he became chief judge of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes nine western states, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
While his appointment to the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals required his moving to California, Goodwin has never forgotten his Oregon roots. In 1989, holding the highest judicial appointment ever attained by a graduate from the UO School of Law, he returned to give the Law School commencement address. Goodwin served on the UO Foundation Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1970. In 1972 he received the UO Distinguished Service Award, and in 1990 he was named UO Distinguished Alumnus.