Shestack demanded the best, exemplified the best

This article can be found on the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Article written by Jeff Blumenthal

Lawyers and human rights activists from around the country are remembering Philadelphialawyer Jerome J. Shestack, who died Aug. 18 at age 88.

I spoke Friday with David Smith, chairman of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis  , where Shestack practiced for the bulk of his 62-year legal career. Shestack had been Smith’s mentor since Smith joined Schnader Harrison from University of Miami Law School in 1975.

“If you attend his funeral Sunday, you will find hundreds of his mentees there and not just lawyers,” Smith said. “Jerry had diverse interests. But he felt the best thing he could do for the world was to mentor the next generation.”

“When I went to see him at the hospital last Thursday night, what he wanted to talk about was that when he came back to work, he wanted to be more involved in an organized way in mentoring young Schnader lawyers.”

Though many, including Shestack himself, said Shestack was tough on young lawyers, Smith saw things differently.

“I didn’t see him as tough but rather insistent that each person give his or her best,” Smith said. “And if they didn’t, the worst thing he could say was that it wasn’t their best work. It was kind of like your Dad saying he was disappointed in you. So I saw him as being demanding of each person producing their best work and accepting nothing less.”

Smith said he learned many things from Shestack but nothing was more important than the biblical quote, “Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue,” that became his mantra.

“It was not just lip service,” Smith said. “Jerry never took a position with an organization simply to have the honor on his résumé. He threw himself into everything he did as if it was his first job.”

Smith said a perfect example was in 1963 when he became the first executive director for The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an organization formed by President Kennedy in response to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Shestack became the organization’s first full-time executive director despite having a full-time job at Schnader. The organization remembered him Friday with a statement.

The American Jewish Committee  also remembered Shestack for his extensive work with that organization. In 2008, Shestack received the AJC’s Gruber Prize for Justice for a lifetime of work to “bring justice to the victims of oppression and discrimination.”

documentary about his life was produced.

And Philadelphia Bar Association  Chancellor Rudolph Garcia also issued a statement Friday.

“In every sense, Jerome Shestack was the consummate Philadelphia lawyer,” Garcia said. “He exemplified the ideals of keen intellect, personal character and professional commitment. He was a natural-born leader and international human rights advocate who was a treasured friend and colleague to countless lawyers, judges, public officials and ordinary citizens.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement Friday, praising Shestack for his “commitment to the highest of American values and international human rights standards. Jerry was an effective advocate for the causes—and people—he cared about because he had a rare mix of wonderful qualities: optimism, resilience, humor, a thick skin, and a way of making everyone feel at ease.”

Former ABA President Jerome Shestack, Known for His Human Rights Work, Dies at 88

This article can be found on the ABA Journal.

By Molly McDonough

Well-known human rights lawyer Jerome J. Shestack, who served as president of the ABA in 1997-98, died Thursday. He was 88.

In an obituary Friday, the Philadelphia Daily News reports that during his career, Shestack “was appalled by the violence that people heap upon each other in the world, sometimes seeing it with his own eyes, and ached to do something about it.”

Shestack chaired the International League for Human Rights and was the U.S. representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council during the Carter Administration. In 1993, he led a delegation of human-rights leaders to the Balkans. Of his visit, he said: “It is a bitter, disillusioning and dispiriting experience to see that people can treat each other with such brutality as we approach the 21st century.”

In an ABA Journal interview in 2006, when Shestack received the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor, he recounted two key influences on his legal career: a quote from the Book of Leviticus passed on from his grandfather, a rabbi; and an answer from his son.

The passage: “Justice, justice shalt thou pursue.” And from his son, Johnathan, then 7, in answer to what it is that a lawyer does, “He helps people.”

“I never met a better definition,” Shestack said.

Shestack’s contributions to the bar, domestically and internationally, were extensive.

“With his tireless work for human rights and the Rule of Law, Jerry made a positive difference in the lives of so many, not only in our country, but around the world,” ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III said Friday. “The ABA has lost an inspiring leader, but the fruits of his labors will long be to our collective benefit. Jerry will be missed.”

In a statement (PDF) Friday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said it was saddened by the news of Shestack’s passing:

“Jerry, as he was known across the Lawyers’ Committee, will be sorely missed. Throughout his long and storied career he fought tirelessly to protect civil and human rights, and among his many contributions and accomplishments was his pivotal role in the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee.”

The Lawyers’ Committee notes that in 1963, after a historic televised address by President John F. Kennedy, Shestack met with other prominent attorneys at the White House and indeed was instrumental in helping to organize the event.

“That meeting led to the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee and served to immediately engage the legal community in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of African Americans and civil rights activists and supporters,” the Lawyers’ Committee states.

At the ABA, Shestack helped found the Section of Indi­vidual Rights and Responsibilities in the 1960s and was one of its first chairs. He was also the first chair of what is now the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, chaired the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indi­gent Defendants, and helped found the Center for Pro Bono. He also served as chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and co-chaired the ABA Center for Human Rights.

Before earning a law degree from Harvard, Shestack, a retired partner of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, served in the Navy as a gunnery officer in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Shestack died Thursday of renal failure, surrounded by his family, according to a family statement (PDF).

He is survived by Marciarose, his wife of 60 years and, a prominent Philadelphia anchor woman and newspaper columnist. They met when he was attending Harvard on the GI Bill and she was a 16-year-old freshman at Emerson College in Boston. He is also survived by two children, Jonathan Shestack of Los Angeles and Jennifer Doss of Philadelphia, and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Descartes Institute, for furthering communications for people with autism.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Statement on the Passing of Jerome J. Shestack

Click here to view the original statement.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerome J. Shestack, one of the giants of the legal civil rights community. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, including his wife of 60 years Marciarose, his children Jennifer and Jonathan and the rest of his family and many, many friends. Jerry, as he was known across the Lawyers’ Committee, will be sorely missed. Throughout his long and storied career he fought tirelessly to protect civil and human rights, and among his many contributions and accomplishments was his pivotal role in the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee. He remained deeply engaged for the last 48 years, and in 2009 the Lawyers’ Committee recognized him with our highest honor, the Lloyd N. Cutler Lifetime Achievement Award.

On June 15th, 1963, as demands for racial justice were increasingly being met with lawless intimidation and violence, President John F. Kennedy made his historic televised address to the nation on civil rights in which he said “it is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets,” adding “those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence.” Just four days later, President Kennedy began sending a series of telegrams to prominent attorneys across the country summoning them to a meeting at the White House on June 21st. That meeting led to the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee and served to immediately engage the legal community in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of African Americans and civil rights activists and supporters. Jerry played a central role in organizing this historic event and, in its aftermath, in formalizing what would become one of the nation’s most important public interest legal organizations.

In its first, formative year, Jerry served as the Lawyers’ Committee’s Executive Director, acted as the primary liaison to the Justice Department and handled the myriad tasks associated with establishing the Lawyers’ Committee as a nonprofit organization. His efforts were crucial to maintaining the momentum created by the White House meeting and launching the Lawyers’ Committee as a viable organization.

We are profoundly thankful that the Lawyers’ Committee continued to benefit from his tireless commitment for nearly five decades. As recently as the last several months he provided guidance on key issues and was very involved in planning for the approaching 50th anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee. His contributions were innumerable and invaluable.

We also honor his many other contributions to the legal community and the struggle for equal justice, including his service as president of the American Bar Association from 1997 to 1998, as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council from 1979 to 1980, and as chairman of both the International League for Human Rights and the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights.

AJC Mourns Passing of Jerome J. Shestack, Human Rights Leader

This article can be found on the AJC website.

August 19, 2011 – New York – AJC mourns the passing of Jerome J. Shestack, a prominent human rights activist who served for decades as a leader of the agency and chaired AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights from 1989-1992.

“Jerry Shestack was a brilliant, dynamic and effective advocate for human rights and the Jewish commitment to justice for all,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Motivated by his deep roots in Jewish tradition, he championed the plight of those abused and excluded worldwide.”

Shestack was one of America’s most distinguished attorneys. He served as National President of the American Bar Association.

He was actively involved with JBI until his death yesterday at age 86. For years, he was a leader in efforts to ensure that international institutions deliver on the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.

“Human rights is no sport for the short-winded,” Shestack wrote in a JBI publication.

As U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1979-1980, Shestack played a decisive role in helping to create the first “special procedure” of the commission, a working group on forced “disappearances” that investigated and helped resolve cases of Argentinians and others “disappeared” during the military juntas that plagued Latin America at the time. This mechanism became a model for others focused on aiding those silenced, imprisoned, or abused for exercising their human rights.

In addition to his activism on human rights, Shestack worked tirelessly at AJC in support of Israel, civil rights, Holocaust remembrance, and Soviet Jewry. He served as Vice President and Chair of AJC’s Foreign Affairs Commission.

He was a prolific author on human rights themes, including AJC’s “Judaism and Human Rights,” which continues to demonstrate the fundamental linkages of Jewish values and tradition to the struggle for human rights.

A prominent lawyer with the Philadelphia firm Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis, he served as chair of the Committee on Conscience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. For 20 years before that, Shestack was President of the International League for Human Rights, the oldest international non-governmental organization active in defending rights globally, where he led initiatives protesting abuses in the Soviet Union, Latin America, and South Africa.

In 2008, Shestack received the prestigious Gruber Prize for Justice for a lifetime of work to “bring justice to the victims of oppression and discrimination.”

AJC and its Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, Marciarose Shestack, and his entire family. May his memory, as our tradition says, be for a blessing.

Human rights advocate Jerome Shestack dies

This article can be found on the AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome J. Shestack, a noted attorney, human rights advocate and supporter of Israel, has died at age 88.

Shestack died Thursday of kidney failure at his home, his family said.

Shestack, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, was president of the American Bar Association in the late 1990s. He also served as chairman of the International League for Human Rights and U.S. representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Shestack “a committed public servant and a dogged defender of human rights.”

“As president of the American Bar Association, and in the years following, he set the standard for how civil society leaders can promote human rights,” she said in a statement.

Shestack was active in Democratic politics, working for Adlai Stevenson and writing speeches for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver and Edmund Muskie. He was a member of the Democratic Party’s platform committee at the national convention in San Francisco in 1984.

Shestack was born in Atlantic City, N.J. He served in the Navy in World War II as a gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and was wounded in a kamikaze attack by the Japanese, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. It said he was saved from greater injury because lunch that day was pork, and because he was Jewish, he didn’t eat that day, so he avoided the deck hit hardest by the attack.

The American Jewish Committee called Shestack a “brilliant, dynamic and effective advocate for human rights and the Jewish commitment to justice for all.” It said he “championed the plight of those abused and excluded worldwide” and “worked tirelessly at AJC in support of Israel, civil rights, Holocaust remembrance and Soviet Jewry.”

Shestack is survived by his wife, Marciarose, son Jonathan and daughter Jennifer.

Former ABA president Jerome Shestack, 88, dies

This article originally appeared in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Jerome J. Shestack, former president of the American Bar Association and a giant in the Philadelphia legal and international human rights communities, died Thursday of renal failure at his home. He was 88.

Mr. Shestack, who most recently served as counsel at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis , received the 2006 American Bar Association Medal. the highest recognition the association confers. Past winners include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan Jr. and Sandra Day O’Connor; Erwin Griswold, former Harvard Law School dean and solicitor general of the United States; and George Wharton Pepper, a former U.S. senator and founder of the Pepper Hamilton law firm in Philadelphia.

Mr. Shestack was president of the ABA in 1997-98.

During his long career, Mr. Shestack championed the causes of women, ethnic minorities, those with mental disabilities, political prisoners and people unable to access legal services. Michael Greco, another former ABA president, described Mr. Shestack as an ambassador for human rights throughout the world.

Mr. Shestack’s first civil rights challenge was as a student at Harvard battling for the admission of women to the Harvard Law school. Harvard began admitting women shortly after he graduated. Later, while teaching at Louisiana State University, he lead the movement to get the first black student, Ernest Morial, into LSU Law School. Morial later became the mayor of New Orleans.

Mr. Shestack was appointed ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights by President Carter in 1979. He is credited with helping to create the first human rights bloc in U.N. history. He focused international attention on the plight of Andre Sakharov in the Soviet Union and Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Shestack was a past president of the International League for Human Rights. He was a co-founder and chair of the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, chair of the International Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Human Rights and a counselor of the American Society of International Law.

In the domestic sphere, Shestack was a founding member and the first executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, convened by President Kennedy in 1963. He also led seminal efforts to involve law firms in activities to provide volunteer lawyer services to the poor. He was the first chair of the ABA’s Commission on the Mentally Disabled. He also chaired the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

Mr. Shestack was born in Atlantic City and lived with his parents and grandparents in a boarding house until he was 7 and moved to Philadelphia. The grandson of two rabbis, he spoke Hebrew and Yiddish before he spoke English. He attended Overbrook High School and went to University of Pennsylvania, enlisting in the Naval ROTC. Shestack is a decorated World War II veteran, serving as the gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga in the Pacific Theater. Though wounded in a kamikaze attack, he always credited his religion with saving his life, since the pork chop lunch that day caused him to avoid the officers mess that bore the brunt of the attack.

Shestack graduated from Harvard Law School in 1949 and taught at two law schools before becoming first deputy city solicitor in Philadelphia. In 1955, he joined Schnader Harrison in Philadelphia — eventually becoming one of its top rainmakers — and moved in 1991 to Wolf Block, where he was chairman of the litigation department. He returned to the Schnader firm in 2009 after Wolf Block folded. He argued more than 150 cases in appellate courts around the nation, and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

ny insiders believe that in 1987, as a member of the ABA committee reviewing judicial appointments, Mr. Shestack was responsible for the unqualified rating that kept Robert Bork off of the Supreme Court. Mr. Shestack maintained an impish silence on the subject.

Mr. Shestack was an ardent Democrat. He worked for Adlai Stevenson and wrote speeches for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver, and Sen. Ed Muskie.

Mr. Shestack was passionately involved in many groups among them were the Jewish Publication Society of America, University of Pennsylvania Press and the American Poetry Review. In later years he was a fervent supporter of Cure Autism Now in honor of his grandson Dov.

Mr. Shestack is survived by Marciarose, his wife of 60 years and a prominent Philadelphia anchor woman and newspaper columnist. They met when he was attending Harvard on the GI bill and she was a 16-year-old freshman at Emerson College in Boston. They have two children Jonathan Shestack of Los Angeles and Jennifer Doss of Philadelphia and five grandchildren.

Contributions maybe sent to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Descartes Institute, for furthering communications for people with autism. No funeral arrangements have been announced.

Jerome Shestack in his own words

This article is from the Philadelphia Business Jornal.

Article by Jeff Blumenthal

For the better part of the past 15 years, I covered the career of Philadelphia lawyer Jerome J. Shestack, who died Thursday at age 88. By the time I got to know him, Shestack was already a local legal legend and a well-known international advocate for human rights who mingled with U.S. presidents and U.N. diplomats.

He was a giant in the Philadelphia legal community but not universally loved. He could be boastful, opinionated and notoriously tough on young associates. But he always seemed to find his way to the right side of so many important issues.

“I don’t suffer fools gladly,” Shestack told me in a 2006 interview. “Sometimes I’m more blunt than diplomatic but that doesn’t mean I’m not understanding. I have zero tolerance for poor work and I was tough on young people, but I am also a teacher who has mentees all over this city.”

He was also very mysterious about his age. When another reporter at the Philadelphia Business Journal asked his age for a story about law firm retirement policies, he demurred. “Age is a number and mine is unlisted,” he laughed.

When he retired from the partnership at Wolf Block in 2006, I spoke with him about the genesis of his crusading legal and human rights career. He told me it all started with a biblical passage that was ingrained in him by his grandfather, the first Orthodox rabbi in Atlantic City. “Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue.”

Shestack is perhaps best known for his stint as president of the American Bar Association (1997-1998), his commitment to pro bono and his presidential appointments in the area of international human rights. Those achievements tend to overshadow his career as a rainmaking commercial litigator, where he represented clients such as RCA, NBC, CBS, Hertz, Advanta and Comcast.

Jerome Shestack Philly.com Obituary

This obituary can be found at philly.com

BY JOHN F. MORRISON
Philadelphia Daily News

JEROME J. SHESTACK was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, a former president of the American Bar Association, a mover and shaker in law, politics and culture.

But he might like to be remembered chiefly for his record on human rights.

Shestack, who died yesterday at age 86, was appalled by the violence that people heap upon each other in the world, sometimes seeing it with his own eyes, and ached to do something about it.

As chairman of the International League for Human Rights and the U.S. representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council, Shestack often gave voice to his feelings.

After leading a delegation of human-rights leaders to the violence-ridden Balkans in 1993, he said, “It is a bitter, disillusioning and dispiriting experience to see that people can treat each other with such brutality as we approach the 21st century.

“The human-rights movement is like Sisyphus,” he said at the time, referring to the figure in Greek mythology condemned to push a rock up a mountain only to have it repeatedly roll back down.

But after recording the horrors committed by all sides in the Balkans, he said it was important to have faith that things will improve.

“The alternative to having faith is despair,” he said.

He decried those who remained silent in the face of atrocities.

“It is only a short step from silence to complicity,” he said on another occasion.

Jerome Shestack was a retired partner in the law firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. For a time, he was associated with the firm of Wolf Block.

The National Law Journal ranked him as one of the “100 most influential lawyers” in the United States.

Shestack was active in Democratic politics and was a member of the Democratic Party’s platform committee at the national convention in San Francisco in 1984.

He was an important influence on Democratic politics through the years and was a mentor to a number of candidates for public office in Philadelphia.

Shestack was president of the American Bar Association from 1997 to 1998, and chaired the ABA’s Center for Human Rights. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be the U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council in 1979, a post he held until 1980.

Shestack was a Navy veteran of World War II. He served as a gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga in the Pacific Theater, and was wounded in a kamikaze, or suicide, attack by the Japanese. He was saved from greater injury because lunch that day was pork and, as a Jew, he didn’t eat that, thus avoiding the deck that bore the brunt of the attack.

In some quarters, Shestack was most famous for being the husband of KYW-TV anchor Marciarose Shestack, who in 1971 became the first woman to anchor a prime-time newscast in a major market.

Her husband managed to keep his sense of humor when he was sometimes referred to as “Mr. Marciarose.”

He also was known for being the father of Hollywood film producer Jonathan Shestack, a champion of the cause of autism in children because he has a child with autism.

Jerome Shestack was a consultant on Jonathan’s film “The Young Philadelphians,” starring Paul Newman. The father’s name shows up twice among fictional lawyers’ names in a lobby directory.

Jerome Shestack was born in Atlantic City to Isidore Shestack and the former Olga Shankman. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1944, and his law degree from Harvard in 1949. He married Marciarose Schleifer in 1951.

As editor of the Harvard Law School Record, he covered the 1948 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia at which South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond stomped out of Convention Hall with a delegation of “Dixiecrats” over a civil-rights plank.

In an interview in 2003, Shestack decried the popular image of the “Philadelphia lawyer” as a “pettifogger,” an unscrupulous conniver. He noted that the Merriam-Webster dictionary listed “Philadelphia lawyer” as part of the definition of the word.

“The pejorative use was very unfortunate,” Shestack said. “I think today the term is not a pejorative anymore.”

Shestack was a former member of the SEPTA board.

He was also active in Jewish affairs. He was on the board of the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee. He was a former president of Har Zion Temple, then in Wynnefield, when it was Philadelphia’s largest Conservative congregation. The synagogue is now located in Penn Valley.

He was also chairman of the American Poetry Center and director of the American Poetry Review, which awards a prize in his honor.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Jennifer.

Jerome Shestack, Noted Attorney and Communal Force, Dies at 88

This article can be found on the Jewish Exponent.

August 24, 2011 – Deborah Hirsch

Philadelphia attorney Jerome J. Shestack — a mentor, poetry afficionado, American history buff, and, in his wife’s favorite descriptor, “the pied piper of just causes” — died of kidney failure on Thursday, Aug. 18, at his Center City home.

From his first campaigns for law schools to grant women and blacks admission, the 88-year-old human rights leader never stopped — not even after three broken ribs sent him to the hospital earlier this year, said his wife, Marciarose Shestack.

“Jerry had a remarkably curious mind and everything interested him,” Marciarose said. “He was invariably president of every organization he was involved in.”

In addition to two decades at the helm of the International League for Human Rights, Shestack was appointed to various United Nations commissions and served a year-long term as president of the American Bar Association.

His reach was evident Sunday at Har Zion Temple, where mourners packed the Penn Valley sanctuary for his funeral.

“Countless women and men are better off because of Jerry,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement, noting that he was “unwavering in his commitment to the highest of American values” and “a dogged defender of human rights.”

“He set the standard for how civil society leaders can promote human rights,” Clinton continued. He was effective “because he had a rare mix of wonderful qualities: optimism, resilience, humor, a thick skin, and a way of making everyone feel at ease.”

Shestack spent the early years of his childhood in Atlantic City, N.J. Both his grandfathers were rabbis and he spoke Hebrew and Yiddish before learning English, Marciarose said.

After graduating from Overbrook High School, he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War II, he served as a gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga.

He “felt there is no war that is a just war, but if there ever was, that was it,” Marciarose said. “The Nazis had to be stopped.”

His mother loved to recount how his religious observance kept him from bearing the brunt of a kamikaze attack in 1945, Marciarose said. The planes hit the mess hall the hardest, but he hadn’t gone there to eat that day because pork chops were on the menu.

After helping decommission the ship, Shestack attended Harvard Law School, serving as editor of the Harvard Law Record before he graduated in 1949.

He met Marciarose, then attending Boston’s Emerson College, on a blind date. When she moved to continue undergraduate studies at Northwestern University, and later graduate school at Louisiana State University, he came along and taught law.

At the Philadelphia city solicitor’s invitation, he returned to the area to become the first deputy city solicitor in 1951.

He moved on to practice at Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis in 1955, and Marciarose began developing her own notoriety as a news anchor and talk-show host at KYW-TV, now CBS3.

As she became the first woman to anchor a prime-time newscast in a major market, Shestack went global with his fight for human rights. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to a U.N. Commission on Human Rights, where he headed efforts to investigate disappearances under oppressive regimes. He served on two more international delegations under President George H.W. Bush.

Domestically, he helped found the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Center, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

In 1991, Shestack left his firm to chair the litigation practice at Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen. But he returned to Schnader in 2009.

Fellow attorney Ralph Snyder called Shestack one of the most brilliant lawyers he’d ever befriended. More impressive, he said, Shestack applied the tenets of Judaism into his practice.

He was the kind of person “who took the word ‘justice’ and gave great meaning to it,” said Snyder, 89, of Bala Cynwyd.

Among the numerous groups he chaired were the ABA’s Center for Human Rights and the American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, where he lobbied for Israel, civil rights, Holocaust remembrance and Soviet Jewry.

“Motivated by his deep roots in Jewish tradition, he championed the plight of those abused and excluded worldwide,” AJC executive director David Harris said in a statement.

Harris noted that Shestack went on to serve on the organization’s board of governors from 1993 to 2009, and chaired the committee on conscience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Shestack was also a political “junkie,” though he never ran for office, said his wife. Instead, the ardent Democrat worked for presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson and wrote speeches for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver and Sen. Ed Muskie of Maine.

Likewise, he shared writing tips with the aspiring lawyers he mentored, many of whom went on to be very successful, Marciarose said.

“He shaped people’s lives,” she said.

He loved poetry and served as chairman of the American Poetry Center. The American Poetry Review, a monthly based here, awards a prize in his name.

Singing was admittedly not his strong suit, yet he made a point of chanting a passage from the Torah on Simchat Torah in commemoration of his father’s yahrtzeit.

“He would always introduce it with the most erudite explanation,” remembered Har Zion Cantor Eliot Vogel.

Besides his wife, Shestack is survived by his son, Jonathan, daughter, Jennifer Doss, and five grandchildren.

Donations may be sent to Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Suite 400, 1401 New York Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.