Licht, Frank

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LICHT, FRANK (1916–1987), U.S. jurist and governor. Licht, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Russian immigrants, was active in Jewish youth organizations in Providence. At Brown University he was founder of the Menorah Society. He received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1941 and was a partner in the Providence law firm of Letts & Quinn from 1943 to 1956. During that time, in 1948, Licht was elected to the Rhode Island senate, serving until 1956, when he was appointed associate judge of the Rhode Island superior court. He resigned from the bench in 1968 to accept the Democratic nomination for governor, scoring an upset victory against a popular Republican incumbent to become governor in 1968, in which capacity he served two terms. He did not run for reelection in 1972.

In 1967 he was elected president of the General Jewish Committee of Providence, which he expanded into a statewide organization. Active in other Jewish affairs as well, Licht was vice president of Temple Emanu-El in Providence and chairman of the Rhode Island Campaign of Bonds for Israel. In recognition of his dedication to the Jewish community, he was awarded the Herbert H. Lehman Ethics Award of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (1969) and the Herbert H. Lehman Citation of the National Information Bureau for Jewish Life (1970).

[Bernard Postal /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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