Deceased May 5, 2013
Sam, a native of Columbus, Ohio, went to Columbus Academy, entered the Navy in 1945 and came out in time to join our class and become a member of Psi Upsilon.
Sam’s professional life centered on being a prominent trial lawyer following graduation from law school at Ohio State. He was the lead lawyer for the Columbus Board of Education in a case versus Penick, a seminal class action lawsuit on segregation in the Columbus public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court (where Sam argued the case) ruled for the plaintiffs in a controversial split decision. This led to busing in Columbus.
Sam’s law firm—Porter, Wright, Morris, Arthur—founded by his father, had 11 lawyers when he joined and totaled 240 when he passed away. I enjoyed a visit with Sam when I was called to the firm on a corporate lawsuit.
Sam was active in the American Bar Association, serving as chair of the Public Utilities, Commercial and Transportation Law section and had been nominated to be on the Board of Governors of the ABA before his death. He was appointed by the governor of Ohio to the chairmanship of the Ohio Public Defenders Commission and was often chairman of the Ohio Legal Rights Foundation. Sam took a particular interest in the rights of criminal indigent defenders. For 15 years he enjoyed teaching a seminar for Ohio State law students.
He was elected to the board of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus School for Girls and the Mt. Carmel and Adena Health System. He also served in many other community organizations.
Sam died at the age of 85 in 2013. He left his wife, Lucy; sons Sam and Bill ’78; daughters Kitty Young and Sarah Good; and 14 grandchildren.
John Priesing ’50