Robert J. Szold

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Robert J. Szold

Birthplace: Streator, LaSalle County, Illinois, United States
Death: November 09, 1977 (88)
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, New York, New York County, New York, 10032, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Adolph Szold and Rachael Szold
Husband of Zipporah Szold
Father of Miriam Seligman; Ruth Ginzberg; Betty Krainis and Joan (Jonnie) Zheutlin
Brother of Ruth Zeisler; Harold James Szold and Seth Lee Szold

Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert J. Szold

Robert Szold (1889–1977) was a 20th-century American lawyer, best known as a champion for the reform of child labor law and as a Zionist movement leader as well as a founding partner of Szold, Brandwen, Meyers and Altern (1918).
Robert Szold, 88, Zionist Leader

NOV. 10, 1977

Robert Szold, lawyer whose career ranged from helping to shape United States child labor law to leadership in the Zionist movement, died yesterday at the Harkness Pavilion at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He was 88 years old.

Mr. Szold lived at 2 Tudor City Place and at 334 Pclhamdale Avenue in Pelham, N.Y.

In 1915, three years after his graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Szold assumed the presidency of the Zionist Circle, an organization he helped to found.

He was a member of the Zionist Commission to Palestine in 1919 and became the first Jewish Administrator of the Town of Jerusalem, a post to which he was appointed by Lord Allenby, the British administrator for Palestine.

As a senior partner in the law firm he helped found—Szold, Brandwen, Meyers and Altman—in 1918. Mr. Szold represented the interests of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. He served as president of the organization's United Housing Foundation.

“His personality was an unusual combination of things,” a colleague said. “He was an extraordinary disciplinarian who made deep commitments and took obligations seriously.”

“But he had a certain sentimentality for causes and a hard‐headedness for getting to the guts of the issue,” he added. Mr. Szold was born in Streator, Ill. His parents were merchants, and he worked selling aluminum when he was not attending school. After earning a B.A. degree from Knox College in 1909. he enrolled at Harvard University, graduating in 1912 with honors.

Briefs Led to Child Labor Law

He was appointed Assistant Attorney General of Puerto Rico in 1915. It was during this period when he worked under the United State Solicitor General, John W. Davis, that Mr. Szold wrote briefs that led to the first Federal child labor law.

In private practice in 1919, he began a lifelong friendship with Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, It was also during this year that Mr. Szold went to Palestine as a member of the Zionist Commission.

In 1930, when he became head of the Zionist Organization of America, ?he drafted the Certificate of Incorporation of the Palestine Endowment Fund, which today helps support and maintain the Hebrew University.

In 1966, after Mr. Szold was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Brandeis University, the Robert Szold Institute of Applied Science opened its doors as part of the Hebrew University. In 1972 the Hebrew University awarded him the degree of Doctor Juris Honoris Causa.

Mr. Szold was an avid golfer and fisherman

Among his survivors are his wife of 61 years, the former Zip Falk, a past president of Hadassah, and four daughters—Miriam Seligman, Ruth Ginzberg, Betty Krainis and Joan Zheutlin. No funeral arrangements have as yet been made.

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Robert J. Szold's Timeline

September 29, 1889
Streator, LaSalle County, Illinois, United States
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
May 19, 1920
April 16, 1923
New York, New York, United States
August 27, 1926
November 9, 1977
Age 88
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, New York, New York County, New York, 10032, United States