Peter D. Ehrenhaft ’57 LL.B.
July 25, 2012
Peter D. Ehrenhaft ’57 LL.B. was a gifted attorney who served as a senior law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court and as a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He passed away on July 25, 2012, at the age of 78.
Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1933, Ehrenhaft became a U.S. citizen in 1945. At Columbia, he was enrolled in a special program that enabled him to earn an A.B. from Columbia College, an LL.B. from the Law School, and a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs in just seven years. After graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as a motions law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
A year later, Ehrenhaft joined the U.S. Air Force JAG Reserve. He remained a member of the active reserve for the next 30 years, during which time he was an appellate military judge with the Air Force Court of Military Review. In 1961, he was named senior law clerk by then U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. After a stint in private practice, Ehrenhaft served as a deputy assistant secretary for tariff affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. He eventually returned to private practice, specializing in international transactions.
Ehrenhaft served as a past president of the board of trustees of the National Child Research Center and on the council of the American Bar Association’s international law section. He was also on the board for D.C. Appleseed, a nonprofit organization that works to develop solutions to public problems in and around the nation’s capital.
Ehrenhaft is survived by his wife of 54 years, Charlotte; his children, Elizabeth, James, and Daniel, and their spouses; his brother, George; and six grandchildren.