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Benjamin C. Osullivan ’37

Published in Sept. 9, 1998, issue

Ben O'Sullivan died May 2, 1998, near his longtime home in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Ben grew up in NYC, where he attended the Browning School, and followed his father, Tom '14, to Princeton, where he was a member of the Roosevelt Coalition and the Veterans of Future Wars. After NYU Law School, where he was editorinchief of the Law Review, Ben joined the New Deal in Washington and then the Army, serving under Patton in Europe and emerging (75 lbs. lighter) as a captain with a Bronze Star.

Professionally, Ben combined a sophisticated international tax practice -- Onassis was a client and George Duff a partner -- with representing writers, including his brother-inlaw and great friend, Budd Schulberg, as well as John O'Hara, James Gould Cozzens, Hannah Arendt, and Mary McCarthy. He also defended socialists during the McCarthy era and worked for 40 years to help Native Americans. His son, John '65, wrote, "He was a lawyer's lawyer and a true wit. He loved music, tennis, Princeton, and the Brooklyn Dodgers."

Ben was buried in West Tisbury on his beloved Martha's Vineyard. His friend Penn Kimball spoke for the class. Ben is also survived by Sonya, his wife of almost 57 years, son John '65, daughter Chris, and grandchildren Sarah '00 and Katie.

The Class of 1937

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