The lawyers and staff of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP mourn the passing of Max M. Kampelman, who was of counsel to the Firm. A lawyer, diplomat and educator, Max’s dedication to social justice and democratic values has left a lasting impact on many lives. His leadership and friendship will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Max joined our Washington, DC office in 1955 and was chair of the office from 1956 until 1985. He was appointed by President Carter and reappointed by President Reagan to serve as Ambassador and Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the precedent-setting human rights body that oversaw compliance of the Helsinki Accords, from 1980 to 1983. He departed the Firm in 1985 when he was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the Negotiations with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms in Geneva. He rejoined Fried Frank in 1989.
Throughout his career, Max held several other diplomatic posts and government positions, including Counselor of the Department of State from 1987 to 1989, and received countless honors. In 1989, President Reagan awarded Max the Presidential Citizens Medal, which recognizes “citizens of the United States who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens,” and in 1999, President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. He was also the recipient of the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2000, he was among those receiving the first Library of Congress “Living Legend” awards, and in 2005, Max received the distinguished “Publius Award” from the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
Max served on the faculties and governing boards of a number of universities and received 13 honorary doctorates. He lectured frequently here and abroad and wrote extensively in scholarly and public affairs journals. He also served on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards.
Max is survived by three children and five grandchildren. Our deepest condolences go to his family, friends and the many people whose lives he touched.