Leonard Boudin, a civil liberties attorney whose clients included Julian Bond, Paul Robeson, Dr. Benjamin Spock and Daniel Ellsberg, has died.
Boudin, 77, died late Friday night of a heart attack, according to the New York Times.
"Leonard was a role model for many lawyers, not just because of his education and scholarship but because of his incredible curiosity and interest in matters of history and politics that transcend the law," said Leonard Weinglass, a lawyer specializing in civil rights cases.
Boudin was born in Brooklyn, attended City College and received a degree from St. John's Law School in 1936. He was accepted into legal practice by his uncle, Louis Boudin, a well-known constitutional lawyer and an influential figure in the Socialist Party.
Much of Boudin's work for his uncle involved union law and in the late 1940s he and lawyer Victor Rabinowitz started their own labor law firm.
His best-known victory came in 1958, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kent vs. Dulles that the State Department cannot withhold passports for political reasons.
"Boudin's greatest contribution came during the McCarthy era during the 1950s when he kept his constitutional bearings and acted as a guardian of important public values at a time of general institutional default," said Jamie Kalvin, a journalist working on a biography of the lawyer.
Boudin represented Robeson in a civil liberties case; Ellsberg, who was charged with theft in connection with the Pentagon Papers; Bond, who was denied a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives because of his opposition to the Vietnam War, and Spock, who was charged with conspiracy to violate the Selective Service act.
He represented Cuba's interests in the United States for the last 30 years and the Central Bank of Iran during the Iran hostage crisis.
Boudin was the father of Kathy Boudin, 46, a member of the Weather Underground who pleaded guilty to a murder charge for her involvement in the 1981 robbery of an armored truck in which a guard and two police officers were killed. She is serving a 20-year prison term.
Boudin was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School and Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley.
In addition to his daughter, Boudin is survived by his wife, a son, a brother and four grandchildren.