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Former Yale Law School Professor Robert H. Bork Dies at 85

Robert H. Bork, who was a member of the Yale Law School faculty in the 1960s and 1970s, died on Dec. 19, 2012, at age 85. Bork was a conservative legal theorist who specialized in constitutional and antitrust law.

Bork also served as Solicitor General (1973-1977), Acting Attorney General (1973), and was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1982-1988). President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987. The Senate ultimately rejected Bork’s confirmation in a 42-58 vote after widespread public controversy about the nomination.

Bork was first appointed associate professor at Yale Law School in 1962 and was promoted to a tenured position in 1965. After taking leave from the faculty from 1973-1975, Bork resigned in 1975. He returned to Yale Law School in 1977 as Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and was then appointed Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law in 1979. The Bickel chair provided additional permanent support for scholarly work on the Supreme Court, constitutional history, public education, and communications law, including free speech and free press. Bork took leave from the Law School in 1979 and resigned from the faculty in 1980. In 1982 he taught a course on Constitutional Law and Antitrust as an adjunct professor.

Bork received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago where he was managing editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. After earning his law degree, Bork practiced law in New York and Chicago before joining the Yale Law School faculty.