Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Death of Marty Ginsburg

Ginsburg Renowned tax professor (Georgetown) and tax lawyer (Fried Frank) Martin D. Ginsburg, husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died today (June 27, 2010) at his home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic cancer.  From the Supreme Court's press release:

Martin Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 10, 1932. He was the son of Morris Ginsburg and Evelyn (Bayer) Ginsburg. He earned an A.B. from Cornell University in 1953 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1958. It was at Cornell University that Martin Ginsburg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg met on a blind date in 1951. They were married on June 23, 1954 at his parents’ home on Long Island.

Martin Ginsburg served in the U.S. Army from 1954 until 1956 and was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he taught in the Artillery School. He returned to law school in 1956 and joined the firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges following graduation. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1959 and to the District of Columbia bar in 1980. He taught at New York University Law School in the 1960s and was the Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980 and the family moved to Washington, D.C., Martin Ginsburg joined the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center. He was also of counsel to the firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He was a visiting professor at Stanford Law School in the spring of 1978, at Harvard Law School in the spring of 1986, at University of Chicago Law School in the spring of 1990, and at New York University Law School in the spring of 1993.

Professor Ginsburg was co-author, with Jack S. Levin of Chicago, of Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts, a semi-annually updated tax treatise. He held numerous positions as an expert in the tax field including chair of the Committee on Simplification of the American Bar Associations Tax Section, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Tax Section, and consultant to the American Law Institute’s Federal Income Tax Project. He also served as a member of advisory groups to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue, the Treasury Department, and the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. In 2006, he was awarded the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Distinguished Service Award.

Mr. Ginsburg is survived by his wife and his two children, Jane Carol Ginsburg, the Morton Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property at Columbia Law School, and James Steven Ginsburg, founder and president of the Chicago Classical Recording Foundation. He is also survived by four grandchildren.

A private interment service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

For posts that capture Marty's unique personality:

(Hat Tip: Calvin Johnson.)

Update: Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark), Heaven Just Got Funnier:

Leave it to Marty to leave this world when matters of death and taxes are unsettled. He and his previously departed colleagues are probably laughing it up right now over the fact that nobody knows for sure what the tax "basis" is in the stuff he left behind.

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Tracked on Jun 28, 2010 5:49:20 AM


My wife and I had the privilege of taking Marty's corporate tax class at G'Town Law. I still have the "big red book" on my shelf and consult it often. Favorite line: "I left Columbia to come to Georgetown because my wife got a new job." What a great sense of of humor and a great mind.

Posted by: Rajeev Balakrishna | Jun 29, 2010 7:33:40 AM

What a great Tax Lecturer! I enjoyed Marty's talks for years at the Southern Federal Tax Institute. He knew Mergers and Acquisitions taxation!

Posted by: Bob Baldwin CPA | Jun 28, 2010 10:27:08 AM

It was a joke, Mike (one of many); Marty was a terrific cook, and he did the cooking for the two of them.

Posted by: Jon Weinberg | Jun 27, 2010 7:17:47 PM

When Marty Ginsburg was working in New York, I heard a partner at another law firm say, "The only limit on Marty's work is the number of hours in a day. If he had unlimited time, no one would ever use another tax lawyer." It's hard to think of a higher compliment, and when added to the fact that everyone seemed to like him, it makes for a pretty remarkable life. My only qualification: he was heard to complain that he had fewer home cooked meals once his wife joined the Supreme Court. But even here he seems to have adjusted. He'll be missed.

Posted by: mike livingston | Jun 27, 2010 5:04:42 PM