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July7, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 16


Allan N. Kornblum *73

Published in the July7, 2010, issue

Allan Kornblum died Feb. 12, 2010, of esophageal cancer. He was 71.

Kornblum received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State and a law degree from NYU. He then held four federal and local law-enforcement positions before becoming Princeton University’s director of security from 1969 to 1975. While at Princeton, he attended the Woodrow Wilson School and earned a master’s degree in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1973.

In 1975, Kornblum joined the Justice Department and wrote new surveillance procedures for the FBI to avoid the abuses of preceding years. In 1978, he wrote key provisions of the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Then he supervised written applications from the FBI and the National Security Agency for wiretapping.

In 2000, Kornblum became the first official legal adviser to the secret court established by FISA, working with 11 rotating federal judges appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush bypassed this court when he permitted domestic wiretapping without warrants.

In 2003, Kornblum was the key witness in a federal trial and conviction of a Klu Klux Klansman (who had been acquitted in 1967 in a state court) for murdering a black man in 1966. That year Kornblum was appointed a federal magistrate judge.

Kornblum is survived by Helen, his wife of 41 years; sons Aaron ’93 and Jesse; and three grandchildren.

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