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Greenbaum, Edward Samuel


GREENBAUM, EDWARD SAMUEL (1890–1970), U.S. lawyer, soldier, and public servant. Greenbaum was born in New York, the son of Samuel, a Supreme Court Justice in New York, and Selina, president of the Jewish Working Girls Vacation Society. He entered law practice in 1915. A skillful attorney, Greenbaum dealt with diverse legal problems, and his clients included prominent public personalities. Greenbaum's public service career began in the 1920s when he participated in a study of U.S. legal practice. Reform of the courts became a lifelong interest: as a member of the Judicial Conference of the State of New York, he was a key campaigner for reorganization of the New York court system, finally achieved in 1960–61. Greenbaum enlisted in the army in World War i, retiring at its end as a major. Returning to active duty in 1940, he rose to brigadier general. During World War ii he was a principal aide to the secretary of war and played a leading role in establishing War Department labor policy, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945. Public positions he held include Alcohol Control Commission chairman (1933); special assistant to the attorney general's office (1934–38); Long Island Railroad Commission counsel (1938); and alternate delegate to the United Nations (1957). He helped found the Jewish Big Brothers Organization; served on the executive committee of the Jewish Welfare Board, Armed Services Division; and was active on the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Board of Guardians. He served as trustee of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. Greenbaum coauthored King's Bench Masters, a study of British pretrial practice (1932), and wrote an autobiography, Lawyer's Job (1967).

[Barton G. Lee]

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