School Plans Frankfurter Chair of Law

The Law School has announced a drive to raise $400,000 to establish a professorship in honor of Felix Frankfurter, former Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a member of the Law School faculty for 25 years.

Plans for the Chair and the establishment of a committee to raise the money were announced Saturday by Erwin N. Griswold. Dean of the Law School, and Carlyle E. Maw, chairman of the Harvard Law School Fund.

Born in Austria, Frankfurter served on the Law School faculty from 1914 to 1939. He was an unofficial adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt for the first six years of FDR's administration before the President appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1939.

Frankfurter also sent to Roosevelt a number of his best law students, who manned many of the top administrative posts in Washington during the 1930's and '40's. Known collectively as "The Little Hot Dogs," they included Tommy Corcoran and Ben Cohen.

He was also an active commentator on a number of important legal cases: it was an article by Frankfurter in the Atlantic Monthly that first brought the case of Sacco and Vanzetti to national attention.


On the Supreme Court Frankfurter became the foremost spokesman for the judicial conservative wing, famous for his sharp dissents to "activist" Court decisions, such as in the Tennessee reappointment case.

Fund Raisers

Participants in the fund-raising committee will include a group of Frankfurter's friends, colleagues, former students, and law clerks. Thirteen of Frankfurter's former law clerks have become professors of Law, including six at Harvard.

John O'Melveny, a former student of Frankfurter's and a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of O'Melveny and Myers, will be chairman of the committee.

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