Feller, Abraham Howard

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FELLER, ABRAHAM HOWARD (1905–1952), U.S. lawyer and government official. Feller was born in New York City. He taught at Harvard from 1931 to 1934, specializing in international law. Entering government service in Washington, Feller worked in a variety of federal agencies for the next 12 years, as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General's Office, as legal consultant to the Office of Lend-Lease Administration, and during World War ii as general counsel of the Office of War Information and general counsel of the un Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1946 he was appointed general counsel to the United Nations, a position in which he functioned as chief legal adviser to Secretary-General Trygve Lie. Several days after Lie's resignation in 1952, Feller leaped to his death from his New York apartment. Although he himself had made no such declaration, his suicide was widely interpreted both nationally and internationally as a protest against the Senate Internal Security Committee's investigation of alleged "Communist penetration" of the American delegation to the un. His book The United Nations and the World Community (1952) appeared shortly before his death.