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Newton Minow to deliver Pope & John lecture at Law School

Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez in conversation with Minow

Newton Minow
Newton Minow will discuss debates and the upcoming presidential election.

CHICAGO - Newton N. Minow BS ’49, JD ’50, 
Walter Annenberg Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University 
and senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, will be the featured guest at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s annual Pope & John Lecture on Professionalism.

Minow’s conversation with Northwestern Law Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez will be held at noon Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Lincoln Hall, 357 E. Chicago Ave., in Chicago. Minow will primarily discuss the presidential debates, the upcoming election and ethical responsibility. 

The Pope & John Lecture Series on Professionalism, which focuses on the many dimensions of a lawyer’s professional responsibility, including legal ethics, public service, professional civility, pro bono representation and standards of conduct, was established in 1991 by the Chicago law firm of Pope & John Ltd. 

Minow was a partner in the law firm of Stevenson, Rifkind & Wirtz when, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He drafted legislation that expanded the broadcast spectrum and promoted the implementation of communication satellite technology. While serving as FCC chairman, Minow referred to television as a “vast wasteland” in a landmark speech still remembered today.  

He served in the Kennedy Administration until 1963 when he became executive vice president and general counsel of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.  

In 2014, with gifts totaling $4 million, Northwestern established the Newton N. Minow Professorship and the Newton N. Minow Debates at the Law School, the first of which was held in November 2015 on prosecutorial overreach. The endowment was funded by a consortium of Minow’s personal friends, fellow Northwestern alumni and colleagues at Sidley Austin LLP.   

Minow was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as a U.S. army sergeant in the China-Burma India Theater in World War II. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has been awarded 14 honorary degrees, including from Brandeis University, the University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame.

His career includes service as law clerk to Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson of the U.S. Supreme Court and as assistant counsel to Governor Adlai E. Stevenson.

In 1965, he joined the law firm of Leibman, Williams, Bennett, Baird & Minow, which merged with Sidley & Austin in 1972. Sidley & Austin merged with Brown & Wood in 2001.

Minow has been a director of many companies, including Aon Corporation, CBS, Sara Lee Corporation, Foote, Cone & Belding, Manpower Inc. and the Tribune Company.

In addition, he is a former chairman of the RAND Corporation, trustee emeritus of the Mayo Clinic, a life trustee of Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame, a former trustee and chairman of the Carnegie Corporation, and former chairman of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). Minow has written five books and numerous magazine articles.

Preregistration for this event is encouraged.

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