Bittker, Boris I. 1916–2005

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Bittker, Boris I. 1916–2005

(Boris Irving Bittker)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 28, 1916, in Rochester, NY; died September 8, 2005, in New Haven, CT. Bittker was a retired Yale University law professor who was best known for his expertise in tax law. After completing undergraduate studies at Cornell University in 1938, he received his law degree from Yale in 1941. He worked as a law clerk for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then as an attorney for the Lend-Lease Administration before enlisting in the army. During World War II he served in the 42nd Infantry Division, earning a Combat Infantryman's Badge and a Purple Heart. After returning home and to his former job in 1945, he joined the faculty at Yale the next year. He rose to full professor in 1951, retiring as Sterling Professor Emeritus in 1983. Known for his high moral standards, Bittker wrote about tax ethics and edited the related work Professional Responsibility in Federal Tax Practice (1970); he also published such cowritten books as The Income Tax: How Progressive Should It Be? (1969) and Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders (1980; 6th edition, 1994). Bittker, however, was not limited in his legal knowledge to tax issues alone; he was also respected for his work on constitutional and civil rights law, authoring the books The Case for Black Reparations (1973) and the coauthored Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate and Foreign Commerce (1999). In addition to his concern for ethics in the law, Bittker was also interested in other ethical issues, such as the destruction of the natural environment. Toward this end, he served on the board of trustees of the National Resources Defense Council, a prominent environmental group.



Chronicle of Higher Education, October 21, 2005, p. A50.

Connecticut Law Tribune, September 19, 2005.


Yale Bulletin & Calendar Online, (September 23, 2005).