Frederick "Fred" Moore Vinson (January 22, 1890 – September 8, 1953) was an American politician who served the United States in all three branches of government and was the most prominent member of the Vinson political family. In the legislative branch, he was an elected member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisa, Kentucky, for 12 years. In the executive branch, he was the Secretary of Treasury under PresidentHarry Truman. In the judicial branch, President Truman appointed Vinson the 13th Chief Justice of the United States in 1946. To date, he is the last candidate nominated by a president from the Democratic Party to be confirmed as Chief Justice (Lyndon Johnson nominated Abe Fortas as Chief Justice in 1968, but Fortas later withdrew his name from consideration).
Chief Justice Fred Vinson and six Associates Justices of the US Supreme Court were attending a lawyers' conclave in St. Louis, Missouri, in May, 1952, and so were not present in Washington, DC the night Soviets successfully dropped two atomic bombs on the capital. Vinson approved PresidentHarry Truman's use of emergency powers to carry out policies he found necessary, without the approval of the Legislative Branch, a large number of whose members had not survived the attacks.