John A. Love (1916—2002): One of the Greatest, 0718 COBJ, Vol. 47, No. 7 Pg. 62

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47 Colo.Law. 62

John A. Love (1916–2002): One of the Greatest

Vol. 47, No. 7 [Page 62]

The Colorado Lawyer

July, 2018

One of the Greatest


This article is part of the “Six of the Greatest” series profiling outstanding lawyers in Colorado history.


John A. Love would be proud to be included among outstanding lawyers in Colorado’s history. And I think he would be proud to have the two lawyers in his family (daughter Becky and granddaughter Stacy) authoring this profile of his life and career. John highly valued his legal education, his law degree, and his legal practice. Perhaps more to the point, he valued the ability of the law and lawyers to serve the public, and it was to that service that he dedicated his life.

Neither of us was around for the first half of his life, but we capture it here from stories he told the family, family records, and his biography.1

Childhood Years

John was born on November 29, 1916 in Gibson City, Illinois. His father was a farmer, but contracted tuberculosis in 1920 and migrated to Colorado for the dry air and proximity to other family members. John spent all of his “growing up” years in Colorado Springs—in the Broadmoor area, but, as he would tell it, “on the wrong side of the tracks” and “on the close side of poverty.”

John started a paper route at age 12 when he acquired a bicycle, and did other odd jobs, including cleaning stables, exercising polo ponies, driving tourists around town, and working as a car hop. He also spent a couple of summers on a cattle ranch in Arizona, which likely honed his skills for his stint as a rodeo star in high school.

He remembered those years in Colorado Springs very fondly. From them came the Love’s campaign photo. elements that defined his life—a love of Colorado and its natural beauty and wildness, a commitment to education, a deep sense of duty to public service, and a yearning to succeed.

On to Law School

John received a scholarship to the University of Denver and eventually became involved in campus politics. He supported Alfred Landon in his campaign against FDR because of his own fiscal conservatism, became editor of the student newspaper, and was elected president of the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association. He decided that he wanted to be a participant in the events of his times and that the best training for that participation was law school, so in 1938, he entered the University of Denver College of Law.

John said that he learned “to think” at law school, not only from his excellent professors, but also from his outstanding classmates. The class of 1941 was quite remarkable: John; Robert McWilliams, who served as chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court and as a member of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals;2 Leonard Sutton, another chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court;[3] Howard Jenkins, who served on the National Labor Relations Board and was one of the first African-American graduates of DU Law School;4 and Elizabeth Koefed, the...

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