Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach, Deputy Attorney General under President Kennedy, spent much of his governmental career at the center of the most volatile events of the 1960s. As an Assistant Attorney General in the Kennedy Justice Department, Mr. Katzenbach played a role in drafting bills to establish the Communications Satellite Corporation, to support the Kennedy Administration’s foreign-trade program, and to create new wire-tapping and conflict of interest legislation. In October of 1962, President Kennedy asked him to draw up a legal brief in support of the President’s decision to blockade Cuba. Two months later, Mr. Katzenbach was part of the group that negotiated the release of Cuban-exile prisoners captured by Castro's forces during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Mr. Katzenbach played a key role in the desegregation of southern universities and was present during the 1962 riots at the University of Mississippi following the enrollment of James Meredith. He was appointed Deputy Attorney General in 1963 and personally escorted James Hood and Vivian Malone onto the campus of the University of Alabama. During the Johnson Administration, Mr. Katzenbach worked closely with the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. He concluded his career in public service as Undersecretary of State in 1969.
1922 January 17, Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1939 Graduated, Phillips Exeter Academy
1941–1945 Served to First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force
1943–1945 Prisoner of war, Italy
1945 B.A., Princeton University
1946 June 8, Married Lydia King Phelps Stokes
1947 LL.B., Yale University; Editor-in-chief, Yale Law Journal
1947–1949 Rhodes scholar, Balliol College, Oxford University
1950 Admitted to the New Jersey Bar; Attorney with Katzenbach, Gildea, and Rudner, Trenton, New Jersey
1950–1952 Office of General Counsel, U.S. Air Force
1952–1956 Associate Professor of Law, Yale University
1956–1960 Professor of Law, University of Chicago
1961–1962 Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice
1962–1964 Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
1964 Acting Attorney General, Department of Justice
1965–1966 Attorney General of the United States
1966–1969 Undersecretary of State, Department of State
1969– 1986 Corporate attorney, IBM
1986-1991 Partner, Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perrette law firm
2012 May 8, Died
The Political Foundation of International Law (with Morton A. Kaplan), 1961.
"Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach." Biography Resource Center Online. Gale Group, 1999.
Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2004.