Justice Philip M. Kleinfeld was born on June 19, 1894 in the Lower East Side. He graduated from New York Law School in 1916 and began practicing law at the firm of Kramer & Kleinfeld in 1917. He served on the Assembly in 1922. From 1923 until 1941, he was a State Senator, and in this capacity he wrote a bill to extend the right of jury service to women and worked to enact legislation supporting President Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Kleinfeld was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1941, making him the first Senator to be nominated to the judiciary while in office. In 1955, he was reelected to a second 14 year term at the Supreme Court. That same year, Governor Harriman designated him as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. He retired in 1970.
He was a trustee of New York Law School and was active in several Jewish organizations, including the United Jewish Appeal and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
He was married to Rose Meyers. He died on January 11, 1971 at New York Hospital at the age of 76.
“2 Justices to Join Appellate Bench.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 5. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Dec 31 1955. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.
“Justice Philip M. Kleinfeld Dies; Served on State Supreme Court.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 38. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Jan 12 1971. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.
“Kleinfeld Law School Trustee.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 19. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Mar 05 1959. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.