U.S. District Judge Michael Gershwin Jr. was found dead on Saturday at age 85.
He was found in his home in Eugene by family members, who said they were not notified by police.
Gershwon was nominated to the bench in 1972 and was the first openly gay judge in the country.
He presided over several trials that resulted in the convictions of convicted rapists, murderers and drug traffickers.
The death was the third of a judge in Oregon in 2017, following the death of U.K. Judge Nigel McArthur on Aug. 3, and U.C. Irvine Judge Brian R. Stucky, who died in October.
Gersharwin also presided over the death in July of U and B U.G.C., who were found guilty of murdering a man and stealing $40,000.