C. Benjamin Dutton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1917 and grew up in Hammond, Indiana. He received his undergraduate degree in business from Indiana University and graduated from the Law School magna cum laude in 1940. Following graduation, he accepted a position with the IU School of Business (now the Kelley School of Business) teaching business law. In 1941, he became an attorney with IE Dupont de Nemours Company in Wilmington, Delaware, but left the company soon after to join the U.S. Navy. Following three years of active service during World War II, Dutton returned to his alma mater to teach at the Law School. In 1951, he entered private practice in Indianapolis, forming the law firm of Dutton, Kappes and Overman (now Dutton and Overman).
Dutton actively served both the legal profession and IU for many years. He was a past president of the Indiana State Bar Association, a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and chairman of the ABA Section on General Practice. He was the director of the American Judicature Society and a long standing member of the Commission on Uniform State Laws. While a member and secretary of the Indiana Civil Code Committee, he was at the center of the re-codification of the Indiana civil code. He was president of both the IU Alumni Association and the School of Law Alumni Association. He was a long-standing member of the Board of Visitors at the School of Law and was its chair (1974 to 1975). In 1970, he was awarded an LLD, Indiana Law’s highest honor, and in 1988 was elected to the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows.
The C. Benjamin Dutton Professorship was established in 1989.