Justice Luke D. Stapleton was born on December 11, 1869 in Brooklyn. He graduated from the St. James Pro-Cathedral in 1885, Manhattan College in 1889 and New York University Law School in 1891. He was admitted to the bar in the same year and began practicing law. Stapleton was active in politics, and from 1899 until 1901 he served as Assistant Corporation Counsel in charge of the Brooklyn office. In 1904, he was a candidate for the position of Lieutenant Governor, but withdrew.
Stapleton took the bench in 1908 when he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Hughes. After five years on the trial bench, he was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department in 1913 by Governor William Sulzer. He retired from the bench in 1917 and joined the firm of Fitzgerald, Stapleton & Mahon.
Additionally, he served as President of the Brooklyn Bar Association, Vice President of the New York State Bar Association, and as a member of the National Bar Association and several fraternal organizations.
He was married to Catherine Nowlen in 1893 and had two children. He died on February 12, 1923 due to pneumonia at the age of 53.
"Changes in Supreme Court." Rome Daily Sentinel. 19 Feb. 1913: 6. Web. 16 July 2012. http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html.
"Former Justice Luke Stapleton Dies Suddenly." Brooklyn Daily Eagle 12 Feb. 1923: 1. Web. 16 July 2012. http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html.
"Luke D. Stapleton Dies in Brooklyn." New York Times (1923-Current file): 21. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008). Feb 13 1923. Web. 16 July 2012.