Francis T.P. Plimpton

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Francis Taylor Pearsons Plimpton

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: New York, New York County, New York, United States
Death: July 30, 1983 (82)
Huntington, Suffolk, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Arthur Plimpton and Frances Taylor Plimpton
Husband of Pauline Plimpton
Father of George Ames Plimpton; Francis T.P. Plimpton, II; Oakes Ames Plimpton and Sarah Gay Plimpton
Half brother of Calvin Plimpton

Occupation: Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, President of the New York City Bar Association
Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About Francis T.P. Plimpton

Francis Taylor Pearsons Plimpton (December 7, 1900 – July 30, 1983) was a diplomat, prominent New York City lawyer, partner at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, and a president of the New York City Bar Association.

Early life

Francis Plimpton was born on East 33rd Street in New York City on December 7, 1900, the son of George Arthur Plimpton, of Walpole, Massachusetts, and his first wife Frances. He was descended from an old and very prominent Boston family. His ancestor, John Plympton, arrived in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1630.

Plimpton was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Amherst College, and Harvard Law School, where he was a roommate of Adlai Stevenson. On a recommendation from Felix Frankfurter, Plimpton began writing editorials on legal issues for the New York World for Walter Lippmann while still at Harvard.

Early career

After graduating from Harvard, Plimpton was hired by Elihu Root’s law firm of Root, Clark, Buckner, Howland & Ballantine, and from 1929 to 1931 he took charge of the firm’s Paris office. By this time (in 1926), he had married Pauline, the daughter of the botanist Oakes Ames; they had four children, one of whom was George Plimpton, a sports writer and founder of the Paris Review.

From 1931 to 1933, Plimpton worked for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1933 he joined the firm Debevoise & Stevenson, which became Debevoise, Stevenson & Plimpton and later Debevoise & Plimpton. Plimpton became an expert in the legal problems of railroads and the reorganization of public utilities. Plimpton also became an expert on the legal requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, and was able to build a large clientele, especially in the insurance industry, as a result of the new law.

Later career

In 1961, Plimpton was appointed to the United States delegation to the United Nations at the behest of the American ambassador, Adlai Stevenson. While at the U.N., Plimpton was assigned to the Special Political Committee, and was also involved with the Budgetary and Legal Committee. He served as Adlai Stevenson’s second in command until Stevenson’s death in 1966.

From 1968 to 1970, Plimpton also served as president of the New York City Bar Association, where he became involved in the political debates of the late 1960s, particularly over the Vietnam War. In May 1970, he controversially led a group of young lawyers from New York to Washington, D.C. to lobby against the war on Capitol Hill. As Sheldon Oliensis, another president of the Bar, later recalled, Plimpton believed that there was “no issue on which the Bar could not be heard.”

New York Society

In addition to his career as an attorney and diplomat, Plimpton was also active in New York society. He was a member of the board of the New York Philharmonic, the Foreign Policy Association, the American-Italy Society, Roosevelt Hospital, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was instrumental in securing the acquisition of the Temple of Dendur.

Plimpton’s son, George Plimpton, was the author and founder of the Paris Review.

Death[edit] Plimpton died from complications resulting from pneumonia at Huntington Hospital on Long Island on July 30, 1983. He was 82 years old.

Francis T.P. Plimpton was born on December 7, 1900, the son of Frances Taylor Pearsons and George Arthur Plimpton. His mother died when he was born and he was raised by his father, his maternal grandmother, and governesses. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1922, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1925. He worked for the law firm of Root, Clark in New York from 1925 until 1933, when he joined Debevoise and Stevenson as a full partner (the firm was subsequently renamed Debevoise, Stevenson and Plimpton). Plimpton served as Ambassador to the United Nations under the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations from 1961 to 1965, as President of the New York Bar Association from 1970 to 1972, and as Chairman of the New York City Board of Ethics from 1966 to 1980. He died in Huntington, New York on July 30, 1983.

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Francis T.P. Plimpton's Timeline

December 7, 1900
New York, New York County, New York, United States
Age 26
New York, New York County, New York, United States
March 9, 1928
Age 27
New York, New York County, New York, United States
Age 32
Age 35
July 30, 1983
Age 82
Huntington, Suffolk, New York, United States