August 8, 1912|
New York City, U.S.
November 11, 2001 (aged 89)|
New York, U.S.
Harvard University (1934)|
Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1937)
|Occupation||Attorney, political activist|
(m. 1943; d. 1996)
Robert Treuhaft was born on August 8, 1912, in New York City. He was the son of Hungarian immigrants. He graduated from Harvard University in 1934 and attained his LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1937.
Treuhaft worked for labor union and radical left causes much of his life. From the early-to-mid-1940s to 1958 he and Mitford were members of the Communist Party USA, leaving the party after Khrushchev's revelations about the Stalin era.
Treuhaft was admitted to the California Bar in 1944, and in 1945 he began at the Oakland, California law firm Grossman, Sawyer, & Edises and in 1963 founded his own Oakland-based firm Treuhaft, Walker, and Bernstein, where Hillary Clinton worked as a summer intern in 1971. In 1963 he provided Mitford with background and legal information that was important for Mitford's best-selling exposé of the funeral industry, which he also unofficially co-authored, The American Way of Death.
In 1964, Treuhaft represented more than 700 Free Speech Movement students arrested during a two-day sit-in at the University of California in Berkeley. He and his firm also represented anti-Vietnam War protesters, Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Before his death Treuhaft specified that any memorial donations be sent to "Send a Piano to Havana" project, which was started by his son Benjamin Treuhaft, whom the State Department had prevented from taking a piano to the embargoed island.
Treuhaft died on November 11, 2001.
- Lewis, Paul (December 2, 2001). "Robert Treuhaft, Lawyer Who Inspired Funeral Exposé, Dies at 89". nytimes.com.
- Childhood and Family Life in New York; Undergraduate Education; Harvard Law School (interview with Bob Treuhaft, 1988) cdlib.org. Page 2.
- "Guide to the Robert E. Treuhaft Papers TAM.664". Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive.
- "Bay Area Funeral Society; The American Way of Death; Berkeley Co-op Activities; Resigning from the Communist Party" (Interview with Bob Treuhaft, 1988) cdlib.org. Pages 70-72.
- "Attorney Search". The State Bar of California.
- Bernstein, Carl (2007). A Woman in Charge. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 105–. ISBN 978-0-307-26848-8.
- Hartley, Cathy (2003). A Historical Dictionary of British Women. London: Europa publications. ISBN 978-1-85743-228-2. Page 319.
- Oliver, Myrna (November 16, 2001). "Robert Treuhaft, 89; Crusading Attorney". latimes.com.
- Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley Oral History Collection
- Spartacus Educational biography
- Paul Lewis (December 2, 2001). "Robert Treuhaft, Lawyer Who Inspired Funeral Exposé, Dies at 89". The New York Times.
- "Robert E. Treuhaft: Civil rights lawyer and inspiration behind the writings of Jessica Mitford". November 16, 2001. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013.. (archived from mitford.org)
- Photographs of Robert Treuhaft cdlib.org
- Send a Piana to Havana
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