The Third Circuit sadly lost one if its District Court judges this week.
Louis Heilprin Pollak died Tuesday of heart failure in his West Mount Airy home. He was 89. He leaves behind five daughters and seven grandchildren.
Judge Pollak was nominated in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He was best-known for his extensive civil rights work, and many years of service in the legal field as a lawyer, judge, and an academic.
He served as the dean of Yale University from 1955 to 1974, and subsequently at the University of Pennsylvania.
“He was just an incredible human being,”said Theodore McKee, chief judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Pollak was born in New York City on Dec. 7, 1922. He attended two Ivy League universities, obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1943 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1948.
He was particularly well-known for his civil rights work, having worked on the Brown v. Board of Education case in the 1950s. His efforts paid off, and eventually he became vice president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, after spending time as a volunteer lawyer.
Pollak was a family man and avid hiker, who married his wife, Katherine Weiss, in 1952.
“He had an incredible sense of humor,” said daughter Libby.
Indeed, Judge Pollak was a man with a heart, famous for stepping down from his podium after a criminal case to shake hands with the defendants. In once case, he actually cleared the courtroom to allow a criminal defendant time alone with her child, as she had been denied this time while in detention.
There is no word yet on his funeral arrangements.