Chief Judges Stanley Fuld & Charles Breitel Start Their Careers

These two application letters from July 1935 launched the New York public service careers of two historic Chief Judges: Stanley Fuld and Charles Breitel.

The letters are addressed to Thomas E. Dewey. He had just been appointed by Governor Herbert Lehman to serve as a special prosecutor to investigate rackets in New York County and was authorized to enlist a staff of 20. The application letters from Fuld and Breitel were persuasive. Dewey hired both men, beginning a long association that ultimately led to their appointments to the Court of Appeals years later.

Dewey knew Fuld from their days as law students at Columbia, and quickly tapped Fuld to be his “law man.” They continued to work together when Dewey was elected District Attorney of New York County. In 1946, now-Governor Dewey appointed Fuld to the Court of Appeals to fill an Associate Judge vacancy. Fuld was subsequently elected to that position and, in 1967, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

Likewise, after being hired by Dewey at the tender age of 26, Breitel worked for Dewey as a prosecutor and then as Counsel to the Governor.  Dewey later appointed Breitel to the Appellate Division.  In 1966, Governor Rockefeller appointed Breitel to the Court of Appeals and, in 1973, he was elected Chief Judge.

Amazing to think that the New York public service careers of these two historic Chief Judges began with these letters.


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