Edward de Grazia

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Edward Richard de Grazia (February 5, 1927 – April 11, 2013) was an American lawyer, writer, and free speech activist.[1]

De Grazia was born in Chicago.[1] He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, before returning to the United States. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor's in 1948, and earned his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1951.[2] He practiced law in Washington, D.C., and then worked for a time with UNESCO in Paris (1956 to 1959).[2] After teaching at a variety of Washington, D.C., area law schools, in 1976 he became a founding member of the faculty at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, where he remained for the next three decades.[2]

De Grazia was married three times, to Ellen O'Connor, Liz Goode, and Lora Price.[1] He had several children, including Augustus de Grazia (died 2011),[2] David de Grazia, Christophe de Grazia, Belinda de Grazia Holtzclaw, and Elizabeth de Grazia Blumenfeld.[1]

De Grazia was involved in numerous high-profile cases of literary and artistic censorship in the 1960s, including several on behalf of the publisher Barney Rosset, who published works by Henry Miller and William Burroughs, among others.[2] De Grazia was also involved in efforts to protect the speech rights of antiwar demonstrators, as described by Norman Mailer in Armies of the Night (1968).[2] In 1991 he published Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius, a lengthy and authoritative history of the struggle against literary censorship.[2]

Significant cases litigated[edit]