Harry Aaron Hollzer

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Harry Aaron Hollzer
Judge Harry Aaron Hollzer, Official US District Courthouse Los Angeles Portrait.jpg
Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
In office
March 3, 1931 – January 14, 1946, due to death
Nominated by Herbert Hoover
Preceded by Position established June 27, 1930
Succeeded by Jacob Weinberger
Judge, Superior Court, County of Los Angeles, California
In office
May 24, 1924 – March 2, 1931
Appointed by Friend William Richardson
Preceded by John W. Shenk
Succeeded by Lester W. Roth
Personal details
Born November 4, 1880
New York City, New York
Died January 14, 1946, age 65
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Louise Green, married May 5, 1907
Children Alma, born May 26, 1911, and Herbert, born February 22, 1919
Residence 245 South Norton Avenue, Los Angeles, California
Alma mater University of California Berkeley
Religion Jewish

Harry Aaron Hollzer (November 4, 1880 – January 14, 1946) was a United States federal judge.

Early life[edit]

Harry Aaron Hollzer in 1912

Hollzer was born in New York City on November 4, 1880, the son of Joseph and Annie Hollzer, and in 1885, the family moved to San Francisco.[1] When his father died in 1890,[2] his mother, unable to care for her six children who ranged in age from two to fourteen years, sent Harry and his four brothers to live at the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum in San Francisco,[3] while her one daughter, Esther, aged ten years, remained at home. It was at the orphanage that Hollzer decided to become a lawyer.[4] He was educated in San Francisco public schools, including Lowell High School,[5] and earned his LL.B. from Berkeley Law School in 1903,[6] one of the first three students to earn that degree at that institution.[7] Graduating with honors, he completed a six-year program in only five years.[8] He had been admitted to the California bar in 1902, and practiced law in San Francisco until he moved to Los Angeles in 1909 where he became associated with W. Ona Morton. In 1912, the firm name was changed to Morton, Hollzer & Morton.[9]

Appointment to the Superior Court of California[edit]

Harry Aaron Hollzer in 1922

Hollzer was appointed to a Superior Court judgeship by Governor Friend William Richardson in 1924 to replace Judge John W. Shenk, who had been elevated to the California State Supreme Court.[10] "It was a surprise to me," Hollzer said, "for I was not a candidate."[11] He was elected to that post in November of that year and reelected in 1926. In 1930, he served as a justice pro tem. of the District Court of Appeals of California.[12][13] From 1926 to 1931, he was a member of the Judicial Council of California,[14] serving as its director of survey and research.[15] In early 1928, Governor C.C. Young directed Judge Hollzer to take two months to travel throughout the country and survey systems employed in court administration and procedural rules in order to improve judicial methods in California.[16] The Council's and Judge Hollzer's efforts sped up justice 106 percent in Los Angeles County while increasing judges' salaries by only 50 percent.[17] From 1929 to 1931, he was the chairman of the National Conference of Judicial Councils.[18]

Appointment to the United States District Court[edit]

The U.S. District Courthouse in Los Angeles, where Judge Hollzer served the last years of his appointment

In 1931, Judge Hollzer was appointed to United States District Court for the Southern District of California by President Herbert Hoover. Upon learning of his nomination, he said, "One of the greatest thrills in life is to receive an expression of confidence such as this."[19] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 27, 1931, and received his commission on March 3, 1931. He served in that capacity until his death.[20] In May 1931, Judge Hollzer was initiated as an honorary member of Lambda Gamma Phi, the national professional commerce and law organization fraternity.[21]

As a Los Angeles-based Federal judge, Hollzer adjudicated several cases involving Hollywood celebrities, including Clara Bow,[22] Mae West,[23] and Hedy Lamarr,[24] and he swore Marlene Dietrich in as a citizen of the United States in 1939.[25] In a 1943 case concerning the purchase of tires allegedly against rationing rules, Judge Hollzer heard testimony from directors Victor Fleming and Howard Hawks, and comedian James Jordan (better known as Fibber McGee).[26]

Illness and Death[edit]

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where Hollzer served as president and his funeral was held

On January 3, 1946, after attending a dinner party at the home of his lifelong friend, Rabbi Edgar Magnin, Judge Hollzer suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized.[27] He died of complications resulting from the flu on January 14 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital.[28] He was survived by his widow, Louise, whom he married in 1907,[29] a daughter, Alma (Mrs. Oscar) Srere, and a son, U.S. Army Corporal Herbert Maurice Hollzer,[30][31] named in memory of his uncle, Private Maurice Hollzer, who was killed in World War I.[32] Fellow judges, attorneys, and civic leaders attended the funeral, held at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, as did a number of film executives, headed by MGM boss Louis B. Mayer.[33] Judge Hollzer was interred in the mausoleum at Home of Peace Memorial Park in Los Angeles.[34] In March, hundreds of Judge Hollzer's friends and associates gathered to pay tribute to him in the courtroom of Senior U.S. Judge Paul J. McCormick, where the judge "recalled to the throng how Judge Hollzer's career showed democracy at work in the United States – how he worked his way up from an orphanage to a flourishing law practice, judge of the Superior Court, and finally to the U.S. District Court."[35]

In Memoriam[edit]

House Resolution No. 47 – Relative to the Passing of Judge Harry A. Hollzer[edit]

On January 18, 1946, during the 56th (1st Extraordinary) Session, the California State Assembly unanimously adopted the following resolution:

With sincere regret the Members of the Assembly have learned of the passing in Los Angeles on January 15, 1946, of the Honorable Harry A. Hollzer, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

His distinguished record as a jurist covered a span of over 20 years, first as a Judge of the Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles and thereafter as a member of the Federal Bench, to which he was appointed by President Hoover in 1931.

Nor were his services to the people confined to matters judicial. Throughout the course of his 65 years he devoted himself earnestly to bettering the welfare of his fellow men, taking an active part in community and National philanthropy and serving as President of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Council and Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Raised himself in an orphanage and making his own way in the world, he never lost touch with the common people nor failed them in time of need.

The passing of Judge Hollzer has occasioned widespread tribute to his memory, in which the Assembly of California joins; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That when the Assembly this day adjourns it shall do so in deference and respect to the memory of Judge Harry A. Hollzer; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk is directed to transmit copies of this resolution to Mrs. Louise Hollzer, the bereaved widow of Judge Hollzer, to their daughter, Mrs. Oscar Srere, and to their son, Corporal Herbert M. Hollzer of the United States Army.

The Judge Harry A. Hollzer Memorial Award[edit]

The Judge Harry A. Hollzer Memorial Award, established shortly after his death, was awarded annually until the mid-1990s by the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles to the individual "who has made the greatest contribution for better understanding between all peoples in the community."[36] Recipients include Frank Sinatra (1948),[37] Harry and Jack Warner (1949),[38] Chet Huntley (1955),[39] Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown (1959),[40] U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel (1963),[41] Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler (1965),[42] and University of Southern California President Steven Sample.[43]

Acclaim[edit]

"Judge Harry A. Hollzer is today considered the most lovable personality among the Jews on the Pacific Coast....That he will be re-elected to the bench in the August primaries is the wish of all citizens and elements in the community."[44]

"He is a man of sterling character, is an exemplar of the noblest traditions of the legal profession and is greatly esteemed by all who know him."[45]

"The bench and bar have lost an honored member of the legal profession."[46]

"Judge Hollzer was the kind of citizen America needs in this trying period of our history. A lover of mankind and devoted to every worthwhile cause, he literally shortened his life by his unselfish service.

"He was the kind of man who was sensitive to the sufferings of people. As a judge on the bench, he was known to all his colleagues and those who came under the sphere of his influence and personality, for his passionate love of justice."[47]

"Proctors always found him courteous, patient, and attentive. His courtroom was maintained in an atmosphere of quiet dignity....

"Judge Hollzer was an extremely hard worker, and many weekends and holidays found him in his chambers. Yet, even when the pressure of court business became extremely heavy...he never lost his unfailing courtesy and patience....

"We who knew him will long remember him with respect and affection. May more like Harry Hollzer ascend the bench in years to come."[48]

"Harry Hollzer has left this world but he has not departed from the hearts of the countless numbers who knew and loved him. He still lives as a part of the Jewish community, the community to whose building and development he gave so much of himself. His memory will remain fresh so long as there are men and women who love their fellow beings, who understand and appreciate the beauties, the privileges and responsibilities of Judaism, who know the blessing of giving and the exaltation of service."[49]

Other Offices and Positions Held[edit]

Judge Hollzer was a Scottish Rite Mason, Shriner, and an Elk.[50] During his life, he had served as trustee, University Religious Conference; president, Los Angeles Jewish Community Council; president, Wilshire Boulevard Temple;[51] president, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Western States Region;[52] director, American Judicature Society; secretary, judicial section, American Bar Association;[53] member, advisory board, Selective Draft Board, Los Angeles, 1917-18;[54] member, executive board, U.S.O.[55]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ J.C. Bates (ed.), History of the Bench and Bar of California (San Francisco: Bench and Bar Publishing Co., 1912), 356
  2. ^ Joseph Hollzer at Find A Grave, accessed 18 January 2013
  3. ^ William A. Spalding (ed.), History and Reminiscences, Los Angeles City and County, California (Los Angeles: J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co., 1931), 535
  4. ^ "Former Newsie Nominated for Federal Bench," San Francisco Chronicle, 9 January 1931, 1
  5. ^ Bench and Bar of Los Angeles County (Los Angeles: Los Angeles Daily Journal, 1922), 21
  6. ^ J.C. Bates (ed.), History of the Bench and Bar of California (San Francisco: Bench and Bar Publishing Co., 1912), 356
  7. ^ Berkeley Law – History, accessed 18 January 2013
  8. ^ William A. Spalding (ed.), History and Reminiscences, Los Angeles City and County, California (Los Angeles: J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co., 1931), 536
  9. ^ J.C. Bates (ed.), History of the Bench and Bar of California (San Francisco: Bench and Bar Publishing Co., 1912), 356
  10. ^ "Hollzer Sworn In as Judge," Los Angeles Times, 25 May 1924, A1
  11. ^ "L.A. Lawyer Goes to Superior Bench," San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 1924, 7
  12. ^ William A. Spalding (ed.), History and Reminiscences, Los Angeles City and County, California (Los Angeles: J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co., 1931), 536
  13. ^ "Hollzer Named to District Appeals Court of California," Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 23 July 1930, found at Jewish News Archive, accessed 19 January 2013
  14. ^ The Judicial Council of California Membership, accessed 18 January 2013
  15. ^ J.B. Detwiler (ed.), Who's Who in California (San Francisco: Who's Who Publishing Co., 1929), 108
  16. ^ "Judicial Council Unifies California Courts," Journal of the American Judicature Society 12, no. 1 (June 1928), 18
  17. ^ "Courts Achieve Swift Justice," Los Angeles Times, 23 October 1928, A8
  18. ^ C.W. Taylor, Jr., (ed.), Bench and Bar of California (Chicago: C.W. Taylor, Jr., 1937), 286
  19. ^ "Former Newsie Nominated for Federal Bench," San Francisco Chronicle, 9 January 1931, 1
  20. ^ Biography of Harry Aaron Hollzer at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, accessed 18 January 2013
  21. ^ "Judge Hollzer Made Member of Fraternity," Los Angeles Times, 17 May 1931, A2
  22. ^ David Stern, Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2000), 238
  23. ^ "The News in Brief: Mae Won't Have to Pay," Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, 19 March 1940, 1
  24. ^ Stephen Michael Shearer, Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2010), Chapter 11
  25. ^ Steven Bach, Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), 244
  26. ^ "Film Director Heard in 'Hot Tires' Case," Los Angeles Times, 13 January 1943, A3
  27. ^ "Judge Hollzer," Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express, 15 January 1946, A4
  28. ^ "Harry Hollzer, U.S. Judge, Dies," Los Angeles Examiner, 15 January 1946, II-1
  29. ^ J.C. Bates (ed.), History of the Bench and Bar of California (San Francisco: Bench and Bar Publishing Co., 1912), 356
  30. ^ Joseph Malamut (ed.), Southwest Jewry: An Account of Jewish Progress and Achievement in the Southland (Los Angeles: Sunland Publishing Co., 1926), 86
  31. ^ "Harry Hollzer, U.S. Judge, Dies," Los Angeles Examiner, 15 January 1946, II-1
  32. ^ Private Maurice Hollzer at Find A Grave, accessed 18 January 2013
  33. ^ "Leaders Pay Tribute at Judge Hollzer Rites," Los Angeles Times, 18 January 1946, 2
  34. ^ Judge Harry Aaron Hollzer at Find A Grave, accessed 19 January 2013
  35. ^ "Los Angeles Briefs: Tribute Paid Hollzer," Los Angeles Times, 16 March 1946, A8
  36. ^ "Hollzer Award Given Attorney," Los Angeles Times, 20 January 1947, A1
  37. ^ "Jewish Council Honors Sinatra at Annual Parley," Los Angeles Times, 10 January 1949, 8
  38. ^ "Judge Hollzer Award Given to Warners," Los Angeles Times, 23 January 1950, A3
  39. ^ "U.N. Envoy to Speak at Jewish Fete," Los Angeles Times, 25 January 1962, A16
  40. ^ "Hollzer Award Given Brown for Service," Los Angeles Times, 1 February 1960, B3
  41. ^ "Jewish Council Honors Kuchel for Humanity," Los Angeles Times, 27 January 1964, 18
  42. ^ "Times Publisher Wins Jewish Council Award," Los Angeles Times, 6 January 1966, A3
  43. ^ Biography of Steven B. Sample, accessed 18 January 2013
  44. ^ Joseph Malamut (ed.), Southwest Jewry: An Account of Jewish Progress and Achievement in the Southland (Los Angeles: Sunland Publishing Co., 1926), 86, 88
  45. ^ William A. Spalding (ed.), History and Reminiscences, Los Angeles City and County, California (Los Angeles: J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co., 1931), 536
  46. ^ "The Passing of Federal Judge Hollzer," Los Angeles Times, 16 January 1946
  47. ^ From Rabbi Magnin's eulogy of Judge Hollzer, found in "Judge Hollzer – Final Tribute Paid to L.A. Jurist," Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express, 17 January 1946, A2
  48. ^ John C. McHose, "Memorial of Harry A. Hollzer," The Maritime Law Association of the United States, Document No. 307, March 1947, 3099
  49. ^ Judge Harry A. Hollzer, 1880-1946, (Los Angeles: Los Angeles Jewish Community Council, 1946), 17
  50. ^ William A. Spalding (ed.), History and Reminiscences, Los Angeles City and County, California (Los Angeles: J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing Co., 1931), 536
  51. ^ "Judge Hollzer," Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express, 15 January 1946, A4
  52. ^ "Judge Harry Hollzer, Los Angeles," Western States Jewish History, January 1992, 163
  53. ^ George F.M. Nellist (ed.) Pan-Pacific Who's Who 1940-1941 (Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Ltd., c. 1941), 319
  54. ^ C.W. Taylor, Jr., (ed.), Bench and Bar of California (Chicago: C.W. Taylor, Jr., 1937), 286
  55. ^ "Leaders Pay Tribute at Judge Hollzer Rites," Los Angeles Times, 18 January 1946, 2