Whitney North Seymour

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Whitney North Seymour
Born (1901-01-04)January 4, 1901
Died May 21, 1983(1983-05-21) (aged 82)
New York City
Nationality United States
Education University of Wisconsin–Madison
Columbia Law School
Occupation Trial lawyer
Employer Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Spouse(s) Lola Vickers

Whitney North Seymour (January 4, 1901 – May 21, 1983) was a prominent New York trial lawyer who served in the Hoover Administration and later served as the 84th president of the American Bar Association. Seymour served for many years as the managing partner of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.[1]


Seymour was born on January 4, 1901, in Chicago, the son of Charles Walton Seymour and Margaret Lucinda Rugg. He married Virginia Vickers in 1922, with whom he had two sons, Thaddeus and Whitney Jr.[2]

He was an assistant solicitor general in the Justice Department from 1931 to 1933 before returning to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Seymour also taught law at New York University and Yale Law School, served as president of the American Arbitration Association and was chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and of Freedom House. He served as president of the Legal Aid Society, the New York City Bar Association, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Seymour completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and later attended Columbia Law School from which he received his law degree in 1923.

In his practice, he specialized in trial work and appellate litigation. He argued many cases before the United States Supreme Court. Seymour was considered an expert on antitrust law and civil liberties.

He died in New York City on May 21, 1983.[1]

His son, Thaddeus Seymour was Dean of Dartmouth College, President of Wabash College and President of Rollins College.[3]

His son, Whitney North Seymour, Jr. was a New York State Senator in the 1960s and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1970 to 1973.


  1. ^ a b Associated Press (May 22, 1983). "Whitney N. Seymour, Civil Rights Champion". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2012-10-13. Whitney North Seymour, Sr., a lawyer and civil-rights champion, died Saturday of cancer. He was 82. From 1931 to 1933, he served as U.S. assistant solicitor general. Mr. Seymour defended a young black Communist, Angelo Herndon, convicted in the 1930s of violating Georgia's anti- insurrection law largely because he had Communist literature in his room. He won an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Seymour served as president of the American Bar Association, the ... 
  2. ^ Whitney North Seymour, Sr. New York Preservation Archive Project
  3. ^ Thaddeus Seymour Official biography at Rollins College]