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A Centennial View
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Yearbook photograph, 1928

Yearbook photograph of The Gargoyle staff, 1928. During his senior year at the Laboratory Schools, Edward H. Levi was editor-in-chief of The Gargoyle, a new monthly magazine, and features editor for Midway, the student newspaper. Levi sits in front with a copy of The Gargoyle on his lap.




Laird Bell Law Quadrangle dedicatory address

Laird Bell Law Quadrangle, dedicatory address being delivered by Vice-President Richard M. Nixon. October 5, 1959. Photograph by Arthur Siegel.

Edward H. Levi


AB 1932, JD 1935
Assistant Professor of Law
Professor of Law 1945-1975
Dean of the Law School
Provost 1962-1968
President 1968-1975
Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished
Service Professor, 1975-1977
Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished
Service Professor 1977-1986

Edward Hirsch Levi was a singular product of the University of Chicago. Educated at the University beginning with kindergarten, Levi attended the Laboratory Schools, the College, and the Law School. His family ties to the University extended back to its opening in 1892, when his grandfather Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch was appointed to the faculty of the Divinity School in the field of rabbinical literature and philosophy. His wife, Kate Sulzberger, had also grown up in Hyde Park and attended the Lab Schools, and her father was a University trustee.

After graduating from law school, Levi spent a year as a Sterling Fellow at Yale, then returned to the University of Chicago as assistant professor of law. In 1940 he moved to Washington to work in the Justice Department, specializing in antitrust law. After the war he became involved with the atomic scientists who sought civilian control of nuclear energy and was one of the principal draftsmen of the McMahon Atomic Energy Control Law of 1946. He also published one of his best-known works, An Introduction to Legal Reasoning.

In 1950 Chancellor Hutchins named Levi to be dean of the Law School, and Levi led the school through a period of unprecedented growth and development. Under the umbrella of the University's general development campaign of 1955-1957, Levi created a separate campaign for the Law School that generated funds for a new campus south of the Midway as well as a strengthened and expanded faculty. Although it trained many practicing attorneys, the Law School like other professional schools at the University focused on research and higher education in its field, and Levi's appointments to the faculty made this clear. Legal scholars such as Karl Llewellyn and Soia Mentschikoff brought new prominence to the school, and the addition of specialists in economics and sociology reinforced the connection between law and other disciplines.

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