Robert Edward "Bob" Treuhaft (August 8, 1912 – November 11, 2001) was an American lawyer and the second husband of Jessica Mitford.[1]

Robert Treuhaft
Born(1912-08-08)August 8, 1912
DiedNovember 11, 2001(2001-11-11) (aged 89)
New York, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University (1934)
Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1937)
OccupationAttorney, political activist
Jessica Mitford
(m. 1943; died 1996)

Early lifeEdit

Robert Treuhaft was born on August 8, 1912, in New York City. He was the son of Hungarian immigrants.[2] He graduated from Harvard University in 1934 and attained his LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1937.[3]


Treuhaft worked for labor union and radical left causes much of his life. From the early-to-mid-1940s to 1958 he and Mitford were members of the Communist Party USA, leaving the party after Khrushchev's revelations about the Stalin era.[4]

Treuhaft was admitted to the California Bar in 1944,[5] and in 1945 he began at the Oakland, California law firm Grossman, Sawyer, & Edises and in 1963 founded his own Oakland-based firm Treuhaft, Walker, and Bernstein,[3] where Hillary Clinton worked as a summer intern in 1971.[6] In 1963 he provided Mitford with background and legal information that was important for Mitford's best-selling exposé of the funeral industry, which he also unofficially co-authored, The American Way of Death.[7]

In 1964, Treuhaft represented more than 700 Free Speech Movement students arrested during a two-day sit-in at the University of California in Berkeley. He and his firm also represented anti-Vietnam War protesters, Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).[3]

Before his death Treuhaft specified that any memorial donations be sent to "Send a Piano to Havana" project, which was started by his son Benjamin Treuhaft, whom the State Department had prevented from taking a piano to the embargoed island.[8]


Treuhaft died on November 11, 2001.


  1. ^ Lewis, Paul (December 2, 2001). "Robert Treuhaft, Lawyer Who Inspired Funeral Exposé, Dies at 89".
  2. ^ Childhood and Family Life in New York; Undergraduate Education; Harvard Law School (interview with Bob Treuhaft, 1988) Page 2.
  3. ^ a b c "Guide to the Robert E. Treuhaft Papers TAM.664". Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive.
  4. ^ "Bay Area Funeral Society; The American Way of Death; Berkeley Co-op Activities; Resigning from the Communist Party" (Interview with Bob Treuhaft, 1988) Pages 70-72.
  5. ^ "Attorney Search". The State Bar of California.
  6. ^ Bernstein, Carl (2007). A Woman in Charge. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 105–. ISBN 978-0-307-26848-8.
  7. ^ Hartley, Cathy (2003). A Historical Dictionary of British Women. London: Europa publications. ISBN 978-1-85743-228-2. Page 319.
  8. ^ Oliver, Myrna (November 16, 2001). "Robert Treuhaft, 89; Crusading Attorney".

External linksEdit