On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

March 22, 2010
Former Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze Dies

Served on Supreme Court 14 years, eight years as Chief Justice

Former Chief Justice Frank CelebrezzeFormer Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Frank D. Celebrezze, 81, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic.

Celebrezze defeated Robert E. Leach in an election to a two-year unexpired term on the Supreme Court in November 1972. Two years later, he campaigned for and won a full six-year term, defeating Sheldon A. Taft.

In 1978, he ran for and was elected to complete the unexpired term of Chief Justice C. William O’Neill. In November 1980, Celebrezze ran for re-election to a full six-year term as Chief Justice and defeated fellow Clevelander Judge Sara J. Harper. For nearly two years in the early 1980s, Chief Justice Celebrezze served with younger brother James P. Celebrezze on the Supreme Court.

Celebrezze’s tenure on the Supreme Court ended after his defeat by current Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in November 1986.

Before his election to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Celebrezze was elected twice to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He also served in the Ohio Senate, served as special counsel by appointment for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and worked in private practice.

Born Nov. 13, 1928, in Cleveland to Frank and Mary Delsander Celebrezze, he served with the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific after graduating high school. Discharged in 1947 with the rank of private first class, he received a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College in 1952, earned a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1956 and was admitted to the Ohio bar later that year.

Chief Justice Celebrezze married the former Mary Ann Armstrong on Jan. 20, 1949. They had nine children.

The family will receive friends from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 25, at Ripepi Funeral Home, 5762 Pearl Road (at Snow Road), Parma.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Friday, March 26, at St. Basil The Great Catholic Church, 8700 Brecksville Road, Brecksville.  Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Contact:  Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.