He was born 1923, in Atlanta, Georgia to Thomas and Doris Coleman. Mr. Coleman was raised in Anniston, Alabama and graduated from the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Curtin attended the University of Virginia as an R.O.T.C. Midshipman and served duty on Mine Sweepers in the Atlantic prior to Pearl Harbor. After graduation he participated in three major campaigns in the Western Pacific before becoming Commanding Officer of the USS STRICKLAND (DE-333).
After active duty Curtin returned to the University of Virginia to earn a BA and a Law degree at the University of Virginia. In 1951, Curtin was returned to active duty during the Korean War after having opened a sole practice law firm in Palm Beach, Florida in 1949. Mr. Coleman was released to inactive duty in 1953 while serving as Operational Intelligence Officer and Intelligence on the staff of Commandant Sixth Naval District War Plans Officer while rising to the rank of Captain. Since 1953, he has served in many Naval Reserve Intelligence billets including Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Intelligence Division 6-1(1972-1974) and Intelligence Area Coordinator for Combined Air and Surface Intelligence programs in the Florida-Puerto Rico area(1974-1977). In 1953, Curtin moved with his family to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was an associate to Stephen C. O’ Connell before Mr. O’ Connell’s appointment to the Florida Supreme Court. The law firm of Coleman, Leonard,Morse,Morrison and Riddle was formed in 1954. Between 1956 and 1961, Mr. Coleman was appointed by then Governor Le roy Collins and served as the sole Assistant State Attorney for Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In 1984, Curtin left his firm in Ft. Lauderdale and opened an office in Charlottesville, Virginia. He practiced and performed legal services in 14 states including Canada, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Europe until his retirement in 2005.
Curtin Coleman’s contributions to his country and community are numerous. Among these were his lifetime of service to the Naval Reserve Association (NRA), now the Association of the United States Navy in which he served as National Judge Advocate, Vice-President and President. Captain Coleman served on the CNO/Commandant Sea Power Speakers Team; Board of Directors of the Navy League of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Governor’s Advisory Committee and lectured at the Naval War Colleges. Curtin was a member of the Florida Bar Association, American Bar Association, International Bar Association and American Judicature Society. In addition to his having served as Assistant State Attorney, his public offices have included the Florida Board of Social Welfare(1956-1960);and Vice Chairman, Judicial Nominating Commission, 4th District Court of Appeals, Florida.Along with his first wife,Preston,developed Community Concerts program to the War Memorial Auditorium which developed the need for the Parker Playhouse. Curtin Coleman had numerous awards presented throughout his lifetime, but the two that he and his family were most proud of are the 1977 Meritorious Service Medal he received from the President of the United States and the Distinguished Public Service Award in 1983 from the Secretary of the Navy.