Legal scholar and chief assistant to Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Philip B. Heymann passed away on Nov. 30 at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 89, according to The Washington Post.
In addition to other accomplishments, Heymann later became the Justice Department’s criminal division and served briefly as the top deputy to Attorney General Janet Reno during his illustrious career. Heymann was regarded as an authority on presidential powers and civil liberties.
The legal scholar died from complications of a stroke, according to his daughter, Jody Heymann. The elder Heymann was a professor at his Alma Mater, Harvard Law School during the time he was not engaged in government service at the Justice or State departments.
“An academician who has the hands-on experience of prosecution and administration,” a reporter for the Boston Globe once wrote about the recently deceased Heymann. He was “well-respected both in academia and the workaday world of prosecutors.”
According to the reporter, he was part of “a singular group of major, national players in criminal justice who combine two attributes often considered to be in conflict in the field.”
Heymann joined the Department of Justice in the early 1960s as an aide to his former law professor, Cox, who was then serving under President John F. Kennedy as the solicitor general, where he remained until 1965.
“Phil was learning from Cox all along how you were a public servant of the highest order, almost in a way that doesn’t exist anymore in our country,” Ken Gormley, author of the biography “Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation,” said in an interview.
After his time at the solicitor general’s office, Heymann joined the State Department where he was talked with overseeing the bureau of security and consular affairs before going on to become the executive assistant to the undersecretary of state, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach.
Heymann is survived By his wife, Ann, daughter and his son Stephen Haymann, and four grandchildren and two great-grandsons.