Morris B. Abram

Morris B. Abram (1918 - 2000) was an American lawyer, civil rights activist, and president of Brandeis University. Abram was born into a Jewish family in the small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia (reportedly with the highest grade point average ever, at that time) and later the University of Chicago Law School. Although Abram was forced to forgo a Rhodes scholarship because of the Second World War, he later attended Oxford University and earned a bachelor's and master's degree there.

As a civil rights activist, Abram was instrumental in ending the County Unit System of voting in Georgia, which many argued favored Georgia's rural, white population at the expense of its more urban black population. Abram was deeply affected by the Holocaust and later became an ardent supporter of Jewish causes.

In his long and distinguished legal career, Abram held a variety of high level positions, among them chief counsel of the Peace Corps and partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Abram published a memoir titled "The Day is Short."


  • Morris B. Abram, "The Day is Short"
  • William Honan, "Morris Abram is Dead at 81; Rights Advocate Led Brandeis" New York Times, March 17, 2000

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