Ace died May 25, 2005, of an apparent heart attack outside his Manhattan apartment. He was 83.
He had an illustrious legal career that was jump-started in 1960 when then-President Eisenhower picked him to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division as an assistant attorney general. He continued in that post until President Kennedy nominated him to be a District Court judge in 1962. Over the next 13 years, Ace presided over hundreds of cases, large and small. He sentenced Carmine DeSapio, former Tammany Hall leader and onetime Democratic kingmaker, to prison for a bribery conspiracy in 1969.
After leaving the bench in 1975, he was deputy attorney general in the Ford administration; one of his aides was a young man named Rudolph Giuliani. In 1977, Ace became a partner in the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, and Webb. Giuliani joined the firm as well.
A native of Utica, N.Y., he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, earning his nickname, Ace, from his athletic prowess. After Princeton, he served in the Army and rose to the rank of captain.
Ace is survived by his second wife, Sara Cree Norris; two sons, Bradley and John; a daughter, Sheila Gregg; a sister, Murney Kelleher; and six grandchildren.
To the entire family, we extend deepest and most heartfelt condolences.
The Class of 1943