|Edward H. Levi|
|71st United States Attorney General|
|Preceded by||William B. Saxbe|
|Succeeded by||Griffin Bell|
|Born||Edward Hirsch Levi
June 26, 1911
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Died||March 7, 2000
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Children||David F. Levi
John G. Levi
|Alma mater||University of Chicago
Yale Law School
Edward Hirsch Levi (June 26, 1911 – March 7, 2000) was an American academic leader, scholar, and statesman who served as United States Attorney General. He is regularly cited as the "model of a modern attorney general," the "greatest lawyer of his time,"  and considered, along with Yale's Whitney Griswold, the greatest of postwar American university presidents. He is credited with restoring order after Watergate  and the consensus of scholars is that he is one of only two truly outstanding AGs in modern times.
Levi was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son and grandson of rabbis. His maternal grandfather was Emil Gustav Hirsch, son of the German philosopher and rabbi Samuel Hirsch. He received his A.B. Phi Beta Kappa from the undergraduate college of the University of Chicago in 1932, and later his J.D. at the University of Chicago Law School in 1935. The following year he was named an assistant professor of law at the Law School and was admitted to the Illinois bar. He earned a J.S.D. from Yale Law School, where he was also a Sterling Fellow in 1938.
During World War II he served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States. In 1945, he returned to the University of Chicago Law School and was named dean of the law school in 1950. In 1950, he also worked as chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Monopoly Power of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. He resigned as law school dean and became provost of the university in 1962.
He was a member of the White House Central Group on Domestic Affairs in 1964, the White House Task Force on Education from 1966 to 1967 and the President's Task Force on Priorities in Higher Education from 1969 to 1970.
He became the University of Chicago's president in 1968, serving until 1975, when President Gerald R. Ford appointed him 71st Attorney General of the United States. Levi was the first Jewish Attorney General of the United States. During his presidency of the University of Chicago he refused to call the Chicago City Police to evict students occupying the university administrative building.
During his term as Attorney General, he issued a set of guidelines (in 1976) to limit the activities of the FBI. These guidelines required the FBI to show evidence of a crime before using secret police techniques like wiretaps or entering someone's home without warning. These guidelines were replaced by new ones issued in 1983 by Ronald Reagan's Attorney General, William French Smith. He urged President Ford to appoint Robert Bork, who was his former student and Solicitor General, or fellow Chicagoan John Paul Stevens to the United States Supreme Court, and Ford followed his advice. Levi later testified in support of Bork at his confirmation hearing. Serving under him, in various high staff positions, were such people as Rudolph Giuliani, Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Rex E. Lee, and Arthur Raymond Randolph.
After his term as Attorney General, he returned to teaching at the University of Chicago's Law School and College. He was a visiting professor at Stanford University Law School from 1977 to 1978.
He was the author of An Introduction to Legal Reasoning, which was first published in 1949 and his speeches were collected in Point of View: Talks on Education.
He was a trustee of the University of Chicago and the MacArthur Foundation. He was a chairman and a member of the Council on Legal Education for Professional Responsibility.
He died in Chicago, Illinois, aged 88, of Alzheimer's disease on March 7, 2000. In 2005, the Justice Department commemorated the 30th anniversary of his appointment as Attorney General with a ceremony and creation of the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity. The Award was established to pay tribute to the memory and achievements of Mr. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor and dean, and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the Department. Friends and former colleagues, including former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld; U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia; former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach; and former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge and Solicitor General Robert H. Bork, gathered to honor Mr. Levi.
He has three sons, David, Michael, and John. David F. Levi is a former federal judge and the current dean of Duke Law School. John G. Levi was recently confirmed to the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation.
George W. Beadle
|President of the University of Chicago
John T. Wilson
William B. Saxbe
|United States Attorney General
Served under: Gerald Ford
Griffin B. Bell
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