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David A. Rose was born in Boston in 1906. He graduated from both Boston University's School of Business Administration and Boston University School of Law in four years. Justice Rose was elected to the State Legislature in 1935, and in 1936, at the age of thirty, was appointed a special justice of the Dorchester District Court. In those days, special justices could also continue to practice law, which Justice Rose did with Jackson J. Holtz.
In 1960 he was appointed to the Superior Court, and in 1972 he was one of the first six justices appointed by Governor Frank Sargent to the newly created Appeals Court. At the formation of the Appeals Court in 1972, Justice Rose had served as a judge for thirty-six years and was designated the Court's first senior associate justice before reaching the mandatory retirement age of seventy in March 1976.
From 1976 to 1978 he was of counsel to the Boston law firm of Barron and Stadfeld. In 1978, upon the passage of the Court Reform Act of 1978, he was the first retired judge to be recalled to the Appeals Court. He served as a recalled retired justice from 1978 to 1985. During his entire period of service on the Appeals Court, Justice Rose wrote 366 decisions, almost all of which were published opinions. A special sitting of the Appeals Court on the occasion of his retirement may be found at 4 Mass. App. Ct. 875 (1976).
Justice Rose was active in many community and civil rights organizations. He held numerous positions with the New England Region of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. He helped form the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston and the Jewish Big Brother Association. He also served as national chair of the Boston University Alumni Association. A longtime resident of Newton, Justice Rose died on April 29, 1995, at the age of eighty-nine. He and his wife, Ruth Goodman Rose, were the parents of three children.
The Appeals Court's Memorial to Justice Rose may be found at 40 Mass. App. Ct. 1151 (1996).