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Don H. Reuben

Obituary
  • "I remember him fondly. I am so sorry for your loss. Margo..."
    - Margo Murdock
  • "I'm so sorry for your loss."
    - Kim Addleton
  • "Bautz von Reuben, a German Short Hair Pointer, was born in..."
    - Judy Blumberg
  • "We are very saddened by Don's passing. We enjoyed his..."
  • "I've known Don both personally and within the law business..."
    - Jeffrey Fromberg

Reuben, Don H. A nationally known lawyer passed way February 3, 2014. He was 85. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Jeannette Hurley Reuben; four sons, Michael Barrett Reuben of New York, Timothy Don Reuben, Jeffery Long Reuben and Howard Ellis Reuben of California; a daughter, Hope Boland of Canada; two stepsons, Hurley Haywood of Florida and Gregory Haywood of California and 11 grandchildren. During a legal career of 65 years he was for more than 40 years the counsel to the Chicago Tribune and its newspaper and broadcast subsidiaries. He also represented in litigation many of the nation's then media, including the United Press, Time magazine, Look magazine, Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago City News Bureau, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS and NBC and many Chicago suburban and downstate Illinois newspaper publications. He was also retained as legal counsel and litigated for many famous personages and famous institutions including, actress ZsaZsa Gabor, Hollywood columnist Hedda Hoppe, movie studio Allied Artists, the American Medical Association, sports figure Bill Veeck, the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Moody Bible Institute, the now defunct American National Bank of Chicago, the Lakeshore National Bank of Chicago, the Tish family, the American Hospital and Supply Co., advertising genius Leo Burnett, a Chicago member of the Rockefeller family in major litigation, many commercial and business entities and the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. He represented the Illinois Republican Party in its first congressional redistricting cases litigated in Illinois together with the then Governor and Treasurer of Illinois, the then entire Illinois Congressional delegation, the then Illinois Supreme Court and the then Illinois Senate. He made judicial history by persuading the Illinois Supreme Court and the Chicago Federal District Court to hold court together as one forum and resolve all of Illinois then redistricting controversies. He also served as a Special Master for the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and adjudicated the first constitutional redistricting of all the Wards of Chicago. Don Reuben was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1928. Don Reuben graduated from Northwestern University School of Commerce in 1949 (with honors) and Northwestern University School of Law in 1952 (he was class valedictorian). Until his death he was a trustee and ardent supporter of Northwestern University; in 2002, the University awarded him its Alumni Merit Award. He began to practice law in Chicago in 1952 with the law firm now known as Kirkland & Ellis (then Kirkland, Fleming Green, Martin & Ellis) and tried many criminal and civil cases. He became the Midwest's most prominent media and First Amendment Lawyer, litigating or counseling in over 700 libel and First Amendment cases. He appeared before the US Supreme Court for the Chicago Tribune in the most famous libel suit of the 20th century, Sullivan v. New York Times- the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared the broadest free speech rights. He represented Time Inc. before the Supreme Court in a decision that expanded the right of the press to publish government reports free of libel claims. He also prevailed in a landmark Supreme Court litigation representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago; the Court barred the National Labor Relations Board from regulating religious entities. Don Reuben was a member of the American College of Trial lawyers and the International College of Trial Lawyers. He was also an active member of the Chicago Bar Association and the American Bar Association. The Chicago Bar in its yearly Christmas spoof of lawyers and current legal happenings in 1955 made Don Reuben the humorous target of its annual Christmas spoof. He was made a partner of the Kirkland firm in 1959 and then managing partner. He left the firm in 1978 to form the firm of Reuben & Proctor. In 1989 after Reuben & Proctor merged with Isham, Lincoln & Beale he became the counsel to the law firm of Winston & Strawn of Chicago. He left Chicago to live in Rancho Mirage, California in 1990. In 1996, at age 68 he sat and passed the California Bar and then began practicing both in California and in Illinois. In his later years he served as a professional arbitrator and as a California Superior Court trial judge pro tem. He wrote legal articles and often lectured on the law. In a 2008 book written on the art of cross examination, Don Reuben is described by the editor as "Quick" and known for finding novel solutions to his client's problems, Reuben played a substantial role in the development of libel and privacy law in Illinois. Described by some as the "Prince of Darkness" he built a faithful following of protégés. Don Reuben was generous of his time and resources for charitable endeavors. He served as a Director, Officer and General Counsel of the WWII Palm Springs Air Museum for many years. He was also a member the College of the Desert Foundation, the Coachella Valley Community Blood Bank, The Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine, Friends of the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. He was a great lover of dogs and owned many during his life. In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be made to K.A.S.E. (Keeping Animals Safe Every Day). K.A.S.E is an organization that is dedicated to saving animals before they are euthanized. Their address is P.O. Box 682 Thousand Palms, CA 92276. Services will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 43775 Deep Canyon Road, Palm Desert, CA 92260 on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 9, 2014
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