Samuel Cooper, taught in Baltimore law school


Samuel Cooper, a retired law professor who as a young lawyer in New York represented Franklin D. Roosevelt when he established his presidential library, died Tuesday of cancer at his Pikesville home. He was 79.

He had taught contracts, mortgages, suretyship, legal accounting, corporate taxation and securities regulation at the University of Baltimore Law School from 1972 until his retirement in 1985.

In describing his friend and associate, college president H. Mebane Turner, said, "Both the students and his colleagues had great respect for him. He was the consummate professor, and I had the privilege of knowing him for many years -- he was a close personal friend and associate. He'll be missed by lots of people."

Larry Katz, former dean of the University of Baltimore Law School and currently a professor there, said, "He was clearly a person who loved teaching and loved his students, and that was reciprocated."

Born of immigrant parents from Poland who settled in New York City, he received his early education in schools there.

He earned his bachelor's from City College of New York in 1935; his law degree in 1938, and a year later a Ph.D. as the youngest in the country at the time to earn one in law, from St. John's University. He continued his education taking advanced courses the Johns Hopkins University.

He began his legal career in New York and while working as an associate for Ironside and Mahoney, represented FDR during the creation of his presidential library, which opened at Hyde Park, N.Y., in 1941.

He went to work in 1940 for the federal government as the manager of temporary defense housing for war workers in Middle River until joining the Army in 1943. He served as a military policeman until transferring to the Judge Advocate General's Corps where he was a prosecutor.

After discharge in 1946, he established a law practice in lTC Baltimore, then joined the University of Baltimore in 1969 after earning his C.P.A. certificate in 1968. He was a senior grader and adviser to the National Board of Examiners, which grades CPA examinations.

He was also a founding board member of Ner Tamid Greenspring Valley Synagogue.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former LeEtta Klein of Baltimore; two sons, Marvin B. Cooper and Dr. Menachem M. Cooper, both of Baltimore; a daughter, Janet Day Hirsh of Baltimore; a brother Alec Cooper of Hollywood, Fla.; a sister, Annie Platzer of Philadelphia; and seven grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Greater Baltimore Unit of the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 43025, Baltimore 21136-0025 or the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, P.O. Box 742, Owing Mills 21117.

Services were held Wednesday at Sol Levinson and Brothers Funeral Home.

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