Honoring Dr. Henry T. King, Jr.


Dan Ujczo

MR. UJCZO: It is now the time of the evening where we turn our attention away from the subject matter of our conference, the intersection of our economic security with the border--we may have heard the phrase "border thickening" once or twice today--to celebrate a legendary figure in both law and life. It has been my high honor, great privilege, and certainly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to work with Henry King for more than the past decade. (1)

Now, this weekend is a time for sharing stories about Henry, one of which happened even last night. Those of you that joined us at dinner know that we were sitting there after a long evening. There may have been a cocktail or two consumed, it was about 9:30 in the evening, and we were wrapping up a presentation after a long day of traveling and a long dinner. And at the very end of the proceedings, I was thanking a number of our sponsors, about 21 of the sponsors of the Canada-U.S. Law Institute. (2) I was trying to show off a little bit and not use notes. I was going down a list and at the end, I realized I forgot one. I knew that I was down one because I was counting on my fingers. And I just reflexively said, "Henry, I forgot one"--and here is someone who is turning 89 in just about a month and a little bit of change--looks up and says, "Baker Hostetler."

Now, I have had the privilege of working with Henry as I said for quite a long time. And one of the most frequent questions that I get asked is "how did you ever meet Henry," or "how did you get involved with Henry?" And since it is a weekend for stories, I will share my story here.

I was a first-year law student. I did not really enjoy my first semester of law school, but by the time that my second semester rolled around, law school had done its job. I had absolutely no social life. It was a Thursday night, I was attending a moot court practice where I did not know any of the students, did not know the issue, and I basically came for the free food that was promised afterwards. And at that time my international law professor grabbed me as I was entering the room and said, "I would like to talk to you after this session." My two immediate thoughts were one, oh, God, he caught me sleeping in class again, and two, now I cannot leave this thing early, get the food and get out of here. But he said, "I would like you to go talk to Henry King tomorrow morning." Of course, I knew that Henry King was a legendary figure on our faculty, former service at Nuremberg, and as you will hear, just had a tremendous career. But I called a good friend of mine who was an upperclassman and asked, "What do you know about Professor King?" And he said, "Well, if you are 15 minutes early for any appointment that you have with him, you are late." So I put on the one suit I had, with holes all over it, ready to meet Henry. I showed up at his office an hour-and-a-half early and sat outside. And every 15 minutes or so, Henry would just give me this face of displeasure, and immediately my nerves started rattling. So the appointed time came, I walked into Henry's office, and he was sitting there. And he looked up and he said, "Young man, I am not sure I want somebody to be my research assistant who thinks a good use of his time is sitting outside of my office for an hour-and-a-half."

Now, I meant to say something to the effect of, "in light of someone of your stature I would wait as long as it takes to meet you," but it really came out more to the effect of "at your age I thought I should get here early." As I said it, there was this look where we both looked at each other and I said, "Oh God." Henry looked at me, and just gave that infectious laugh that he has. It has been that same laugh every day for the past ten years of working with Henry!

We have had the great opportunity to work together on a number of projects. Like so many of us in the room, Henry is involved in so many activities. (3) I have had the great pleasure of traveling with Henry both throughout the United States and overseas, and there is probably nothing better than an airplane ride with Henry of telling stories from Nuremberg, (4) about meeting 17 Argentinean dictators, to just what he had for lunch on March 14, 1952.

We were talking earlier, and I was reminded that Henry never forgets a phone number. It is a little parlor trick. He will tell you your phone number. If he has dialed it, he remembers it. But also when he wants to show off a little bit, he will tell you what he ate on some specific date. And I was always amazed by that until I realized I could never prove him wrong. Where is the source for that?

But I have one other story. Henry and I were in Ottawa after he was appointed Honorary Consul, (5) and Andrew and Dana were there as well. Of course it was Ottawa in February, which is when they usually bring people to Ottawa. Every flight was cancelled, but Henry and I were there, and the Canada-U.S. Law Institute had a program that evening to be held in Toronto so we had to get there. (6) We were doing everything that we could do to get on the one flight that is going to Toronto and the gate attendant said, "okay, well, we are going to board you guys, but there is a chance this plane is not going to land in Toronto, and that you are going to turn around and come right back." And I looked at Henry, and he nodded, and we got on the plane.

And while we were flying, the pilot came on at the beginning of the flight and said it was 50/50 whether we were going to land. I looked at him and I said, "Henry, I am a little surprised that you wanted to get on the plane, we could have just stayed in Ottawa." And I looked at Henry, and he was laughing hysterically. And he said, "50/50's pretty good odds at my age."

A special theme for anyone who knows Henry knows that the central theme of his life's philosophy--it is a part of every speech--is that he believes in building institutions; that his life's work is about building institutions. We certainly know--and as we will hear this evening, Henry continued the Nuremberg legacy through his work in creating the International Criminal Court (7) and his work at the ABA section of International Law as former section chair. (8) It was amazing this week at that Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group. One of the world's top arbitrators was saying, "when Henry and I were the first delegation to visit China after Nixon opened it up..."--and it was just an eye-opener to realize as to how involved Henry has been, certainly through his work in creating the Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group, (9) and the best evidence of those institutions is right here, the Canada-United States Law Institute to which he has dedicated 25 years of his life. (10)

But at the core of every institution are people. I am just one of a number of individuals in this room in a legion, or several legions, of people throughout this continent and beyond who have been influenced by Henry King, not only as a law professor, not only as a mentor in a career, but certainly as a best friend and confidant. I can tell you that every place of employment that I have ever had, when I worked at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio--the first phone call every day to the court at 6:30 a.m. was Henry. We used to have to tell the cleaning people, "do not pick up the phone, I am just running late to work," because it was Henry.

But throughout this evening in terms of demonstrating that legacy, we will bring up several individuals whose lives he had influenced to share their experiences. But it is certainly not limited to those individuals. It is reflected by all of us in this room and certainly many more, countless more beyond. With that in mind, it is my great pleasure to introduce our colleague from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Professor Michael Scharf.


Michael Scharf

MR. SCHARF: Good evening, friends from both sides of the border. As Dan was saying, Henry, Dan, and Richard, who you have seen tonight, and Chios Carmody, from the other side of the border, make up an institute (11) that is very important to the International Law program at Case Western. And together in a partnership, the Cox Center and the Canada-U.S. Law Institute, have gained great prominence, and we are now ranked among the top International Law programs in the country, tied with Stanford and Cornell, (12) and it has a lot to do with the institution building that Henry King has done.

Dan asked me to help celebrate Henry's life by going through a little bit of the chronology of the things he did. We in this room all know everything about Henry, and I was tempted to just say, well, 'res ipsa loquitur,' the thing speaks for itself, but it is always worth going through his life because he is such an inspiration for so many people. Henry as you know was the son of a New England mayor, (13) went to Yale, (14) did great in law school, became the youngest of all the Nuremberg prosecutors, (15) and went on an adventure in Germany as a civilian to prosecute the worst criminals known to mankind. He returned from Nuremberg and was then thrust into a new and exciting career at the State Department as Director of the Agency for International Development in the Eisenhower administration. (16)

He later became the Chief International Counsel for TRW, (17) one of the major multinational corporations in the world. He was elected and served prominently as the chair of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association, (18) an organization of 70,000 international lawyers in the United States. (19) Later he joined our faculty, and he has been here for 25 years this year. (20) It is his silver anniversary. And it is very exciting what he has been able to do, and the people that he has been able to touch over those years. Like Dan, I met Henry ten years ago at the 50th anniversary of the Nuremberg Tribunal's decisions...

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