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Gunther, Gerald

Born: 1927 AD
Died: 2002 AD
Nationality: German
Categories: Lawyers, Scholars

1927 – Born on the 26th of May, in Usingen, Taunus, Germany. Gerald Gunther, a constitutional law scholar whose casebook on the subject is the bible for thousands of law students, and who was mentioned as a Supreme Court candidate.

1938 – Gunther emigrated as a young boy to the United States with his family.

         – Attended Brooklyn College for his Bachelor’s Degree.

         – Attended Columbia University for his Master’s Degree.

         – Attended Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

         – Clerked for Judge Learned Hand and for Chief Justice Earl Warren.

1956 – Gunther was a faculty member at Columbia University School of Law. He was recruited to Stanford’s then little-known Law School in a faculty hiring move remembered on campus as "the great raid on Columbia," a coup that helped the school lift itself out of relative obscurity.

1962 – He and a few colleagues left Columbia to start teaching in Stanford University.

1970 – He teamed up with Law Professors William Baxter and Thomas Ehrlich to write a detailed critique of Pitzer, whom they viewed as weak and indecisive.

1973 – Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science.

1974 – Elected to the American Law Institute.

1981 – Elected to the American Philosophical Society.

1987 – A poll in the New York Law Journal ranked Gunther as the "best qualified" choice for appointment to the Supreme Court, "ideology aside".

1988 – Stanford University considered and adopted a student conduct rule that responded to use of racial slurs by some students and aimed at curbing "discriminatory harassment" by personal vilification. Gunther argued against the new disciplinary policy.

1990 – Recipient of the the Richard J. Maloney Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Legal Education.

1994 – His biography of Learned Hand was awarded the Erwin N. Griswold Triennial Prize of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

1995 – Received the Bernard Witkin Medal of the State Bar of California.

         – Gunther became a professor emeritus in May but he remained active as a teacher.

1999 – Received the Triennial Award of the Order of the Coif as the legal best book relating to law published.

2002 – He died of cancer at his home on campus on July 30th. He was 75.