Richard M. Rosenbaum '52, P'86

Rochester, N.Y.

Attorney; Author; HWS Honorary Trustee

Born in 1931 to a Jewish immigrant family in upstate New York, Richard M. Rosenbaum went from being a college boxing star to Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's right-hand man and an integral part of the national Republican Party.

Quickly advancing to the pinnacle of state politics in the 1970s, Rosenbaum was one of the youngest justices to be elected with bipartisan support to the New York State Supreme Court for a full 14 year term. In 1973, he was appointed chair of the New York Republican Party by Rockefeller, a valuable connection that gave Rosenbaum entrée into national politics when Rockefeller assumed the vice presidency under Gerald Ford. Later, Rosenbaum served as chair of the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, an appointment of Gov. George Pataki until 1996.

At Hobart, Rosenbaum majored in history and political science and was a member of Phi Phi Delta. He played tackle on the football team and two years on the lacrosse team. As a boxer, he won Hobart's heavyweight championship two years in a row. After graduating from Hobart, Rosenbaum attended Cornell University Law School and was elected president of the law student association. From there, Rosenbaum started his legal and political career in Rochester, N.Y, first serving in the County Legislature and then as chairman of the Monroe County Republican Committee in 1968.

Rosenbaum returned to the Colleges in 2008 for a President's Forum talk coinciding with the release of his book, "No Room for Democracy: The Triumph of Ego Over Common Sense," a political memoir.

The author of several major political and public affairs treatises, Rosenbaum has written extensively on Middle Eastern policy and his articles have been published in a variety of newspapers. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Ranked among the nation's most prestigious awards, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor is given to individuals who, by their conduct, have distinguished themselves through service to country and by enhancing the highest ideals and accomplishments of their ethnic backgrounds. Notable recipients include six Presidents of the United States, members of Congress, Nobel Prize winners and military heroes, including Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, among many others.

Rosenbaum has been a member of the New York State Bar for more than half a century and is currently senior counsel at Nixon Peabody LLP, where he was formerly a partner. He has served as an honorary member of the Colleges' Board of Trustees since 1990, and served as a board member from 1971-1989. In 2002, he led the establishment of the Phi Phi Delta Scholarship that is awarded to one outstanding Hobart student in his third year of study.


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