June 30, 2010
The distinguished tax law expert Martin D. Ginsburg ’58, a tax law professor at Georgetown University and of counsel at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, died Sunday in Washington, D.C. He was the husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
As a tax law expert, Ginsburg represented high profile clients, including Ross Perot in 1984, and he also served as an advisor to government tax panels. Ginsburg co-wrote, with Jack S. Levin ’61, “Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts,” a continually updated treatise offering thorough treatment of the tax, finance, and corporate elements in dynamic field.
“Marty set the gold standard for tax scholarship and practice, and his remarkable work with Jack Levin elevated the teaching and analysis of the role of tax law in complex mergers and acquisitions,” said HLS Dean Martha Minow. “He also provided a kind of support of the career of his fellow student and wife, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that will long be remembered. How we will miss this wonderful man.”
After graduating magna cum laude from HLS, Ginsburg joined the New York firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and he also taught at New York University as an adjunct professor. According to his firm’s web site, “He withdrew from full-time practice when appointed the Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and moved to Georgetown University in 1980 when his wife obtained a good job in Washington.” Bader Ginsburg, who attended Harvard Law School before graduating from Columbia, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia between 1980 and 1993, the year she was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Clinton.
During his career, he also taught at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago.
The Ginsburgs met while students at Cornell University, and they were married in 1954. After Ginsburg’s Army service in Oklahoma and the birth of their daughter, they enrolled one year apart at Harvard Law School. “I have been supportive of my wife since the beginning of time, and she has been supportive of me,” Ginsburg told The New York Times “It’s not sacrifice; it’s family.” They celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, June 23, 2010.
In addition to his degree from HLS, Ginsburg also received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell in 1953 and honorary degrees from Northwestern School of Law in 1992 and Wheaton College in 1997.
His daughter, Jane Ginsburg ’80, is a professor at Columbia Law School and his son, James Ginsburg, is founder and president of the Chicago Classical Recording Foundation.