Judge Dawson was born in Arkansas in 1922. A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., Judge Dawson received a B.S. from the University of North Carolina, and earned his J.D. with honors from the George Washington University School of Law.
He had a long career in public service, spending two years in the European Theater with the U.S. Army, and many more as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He held several positions at the Internal Revenue Service, including Assistant Chief Counsel (Administration), before being appointed to the Tax Court by President Kennedy for an initial 15-year term. He was reappointed by President Nixon for a second 15-year term. Judge Dawson served as a Senior Judge on recall from 1985 until his death in 2016.
Judge Dawson was Chief Judge of the Tax Court for three terms. Known as a meticulous record keeper and for his wealth of information on virtually every aspect of Tax Court history and lore, he was always happy to share his knowledge with everyone. It is only fitting that the case management system, the records base for the Tax Court itself, should be named in his memory.