Louis Lowenstein ’53
April 18, 2009
Louis Lowenstein ’53 was an eminent scholar, professor, and philanthropist who mentored generations of Columbia Law School students. He passed away on April 18, 2009, at
the age of 83.
“Lou was the gold standard, a truly magnificent colleague and friend,” said David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “We will miss his wisdom, insight, decency, and compassion.”
Lowenstein attended Columbia College before earning degrees from both Columbia Business School and the Law School. He then used that education as a corporate and securities lawyer in New York, eventually becoming a founding partner of Kramer Levin
Naftalis & Frankel. Even after leaving the field of corporate law, Lowenstein maintained an interest in Wall Street. He dedicated much of his scholarly work to corporate financial misconduct, and, in 2004, New York Governor George E. Pataki ’70 appointed him to the Public Authority Governance Advisory Committee.
Lowenstein joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 1980 as a professor and chairman of the board of directors of the Columbia Law Review. Eighteen years later, Lowenstein and his wife, Helen, pioneered and endowed a fellowship program at the Law School to encourage
and reward students who demonstrated exceptional dedication and the potential for making a substantial contribution to public interest law. The Lowenstein Fellowship program has since provided financial assistance to more than 35 students.
“Professor Lowenstein was an incredibly decent, thoughtful, and caring person,” said Myrna Pérez ’03, a past fellowship recipient. “He was generous with his insight, his support, and his affirmation. His loss will be a big one, not only to the Columbia community, but to the world of public interest law.”
Lowenstein is survived by his wife of 56 years, Helen Udell Lowenstein, three children, and 11 grandchildren.