Scholars and Jurists Honor Raoul Berger

October 25, 2002

Distinguished scholars and jurists will gather at Northwestern University School of Law for a symposium to honor the life and work of the late Raoul Berger, who was one of the nation's leading authorities and most prolific commentators on the U.S. Constitution and legal history.

The symposium honoring Berger, a 1935 graduate of the law school who passed away on Sept. 23, 2000, at age 99, is open to the public. It will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the law school, 357 E. Chicago Ave.

The symposium will feature speeches by Judge Danny J. Boggs of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Edith H. Jones of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Gary L. McDowell, director of the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London; and Edwin Meese III, the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow of Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

"Raoul Berger was one of the most loyal and fervent supporters of the rule of law in general and Northwestern's law school in particular," said Stephen B. Presser, who also will deliver a speech at the symposium. Presser, the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern, knew Berger well.

Berger was the author of more than 100 articles and seven books. Among his most recent works are "Federalism: The Founder's Design" (1987) and "The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights" (1989).

Born in Russian Ukraine in 1901, Berger moved to the United States as a child and subsequently attended the Institute of Musical Art in New York. After leading a distinguished career as a young concert violinist for a number of years, Berger decided to pursue a different career path.

At the age of 35, he graduated from Northwestern University School of Law and first practiced law in Chicago. He worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission and as special assistant to the U.S. attorney general and general counsel to the alien property custodian during World War II. Berger began teaching law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1962 and was the Charles Warren Senior Fellow in American Legal History at Harvard University from 1971 to 1976.

His fond memories of Northwestern inspired Berger to establish the Raoul Berger Chair in Legal History, the Raoul Berger Fellowship in Legal History and the Raoul Berger Prizes Fund.

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