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 Arthur Goldberg

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Arthur Goldberg

  • Birth 8 Aug 1908 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 18 Jan 1990 Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Section 21 Lot S-35 Grid M-20.5
  • Memorial ID 2120

US Secretary of Labor, US Supreme Court Associate Justice, and United Nations (UN) Ambassador. He served as the 9th Secretary of Labor from January 1961 to September 1962, Associate US Supreme Court Justice from September 1962 until July 1965, and the 6th US Ambassador to the UN from 1965 until 1968. Born Arthur Joseph Goldberg to Russian/Ukrainian Jewish immigrant parents in Chicago, Illinois, he was the youngest of eight children. He graduated from Carter Harrison Technical High School at age 16 and attended Crane Junior College (now Malcolm X College) and DePaul University, both in Chicago. In 1926 he began his legal studies at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago where he was the editor-in-chief of the Illinois Law Review (now known as the Northwestern University Law Review) and received a Bachelor of Science in Law in 1929 and a Doctor of Juridical Science the following year. He then taught at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago from the 1930s through the 1950s. He became a prominent labor lawyer, representing striking Chicago newspaper workers on behalf of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1938. During World War II he served in an espionage group operated by the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. After World War II he was appointed general counsel to the CIO in 1948 and served as a negotiator and chief legal adviser in the merger of the American Federation of Labor and CIO in 1955. He also served as general counsel of the United Steelworkers of America. In 1961 he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as the Secretary of Labor and the following year Kennedy nominated him as an associate justice to the US Supreme Court. His best-known opinion came in the case of Griswold versus Connecticut (1965), arguing that the 9th Amendment supported the existence of an unenumerated right of privacy. However, his most influential move on the Supreme Court involved the death penalty. He argued in a 1963 internal Supreme Court memorandum that imposition of the death penalty was condemned by the international community and should be regarded as "cruel and unusual punishment," and violated the 8th Amendment. In 1965 he was persuaded by President Lyndon B. Johnson to resign his seat on the Supreme Court to replace the recently deceased Adlai Stevenson as the US Ambassador to the UN. In 1967 he was a key drafter of Resolution 242, which followed the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states. While interpretation of that resolution has subsequently become controversial, he was very clear that the resolution does not obligate Israel to withdraw from all of the captured territories. In 1968 he resigned as US Ambassador to the UN over his frustration with the US involvement in the Vietnam War and became a senior partner in the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. When US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren announced his retirement in 1968, President Johnson considered nominating him as a replacement but decided against it. In 1970 he ran for governor of New York inst incumbent Republican Nelson Rockefeller but lost by 700,000 votes. He then returned to law practice in Washington DC and served as President of the American Jewish Committee. In 1972 he returned to the Supreme Court as a lawyer, representing Major League Baseball player Curt Flood in the case of Flood versus Kuhn. Under President Jimmy Carter, he served as US Ambassador to the Belgrade Conference on Human Rights in 1977, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1978. He died in Washington DC at the age of 81.

Bio by: William Bjornstad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2120
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Arthur Goldberg (8 Aug 1908–18 Jan 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2120, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .