Justice Gerald Nolan was born in Yonkers around the year 1891, the son of Dan C. Nolan, publisher of the Yonkers Gazette. He graduated from New York University and New York University Law School and worked as a partner at the law firm of Rowland, Nolan & Bleakley.
Nolan joined the bench in 1930, serving first as a city judge and later as a judge for Westchester County. In 1938, he was named to the State Supreme Court. Nolan was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department in 1945. Three years later, Governor Thomas E. Dewey promoted him to the position of Presiding Justice. In 1951, Justice Nolan joined a majority opinion upholding the constitutionality of a Board of Education program providing voluntary religious instruction off school property. Justice Nolan also served temporarily on the New York Court of Appeals. He retired from the Appellate Division in 1961, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Additionally, Nolan was a naval lieutenant during World War I.
He had two children and twelve grandchildren. He died on February 15, 1980 in Greenwich, Connecticut at the age of 88.
Clark, Alfred E. "Justice Gerald Nolan, Retired from Position in Appellate Division." New York Times (1923-Current file): 26. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008). Feb 16 1980. Web. 8 June 2012.
"Court Backs Time for Faith Teaching." New York Times (1923-Current file): 31. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008). Jan 16 1951. Web. 8 June 2012.