Kent, James, American jurist, was born in New York on July 31, 1763. He graduated at Yale in 1781, and was admitted to the bar in 1787. After serving two terms in the legislature, he became professor of law in Columbia College from 1794 to 1798, when he was appointed a justice of the supreme court of New York. In 1804 he became chief-justice, and in 1814 chancellor of the state. In 1823 he retired from the bench, but continued the practice of his profession for many years. Kent's principal publication was his famous Commentaries in American Law, a monumental work which has not yet been superseded. He died at New York on Dec. 12, 1847.