Corwin, Edward S. (Edward Samuel), 1878-1963

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1878-01-19
Death 1963-04-23
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Edwin S. Corwin, a historian and political scientist, was McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University from 1918 and a prominent authority on constitutional law and theory, administrative law, international law, and jurisprudence. He was an adviser to the Public Works Administration (1935) and special assistant and consultant to the attorney general on constitutional issues (1936-37). In 1937 he gave full support to President Roosevelt's Supreme Court reorganization plan. In 1954 he served as chairman of a national committee which opposed the Bricker Amendment to restrict the treaty-making powers of the President.

From the description of Edward S. Corwin papers, ca. 1860-1961 (bulk 1920-1958) (Princeton University Library). WorldCat record id: 77949124

Edward S. Corwin was born to Frank Adelbert and Dora Lyndon Corwin in Plymouth, Michigan on January 19, 1878. He was president of his class and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan in 1900. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1905. He married Mildred Sutcliffe Smith on June 28, 1909.

Corwin was a renowned authority on United States constitutional law and theory, administrative law, international law, and jurisprudence. One of the original group of preceptors hired at Princeton University by Woodrow Wilson in 1905, Corwin became a full professor in 1911 and assumed Wilson's McCormick Professorship in Jurisprudence in 1918. Corwin was also the first chairman of Princeton's Department of Politics, which he headed from 1924 to 1935.

A prolific author, Corwin wrote more than 20 books, including The Constitution and What It Means Today (1928). His other books include John Marshall and the Constitution (1919); The Twilight of The Supreme Court (1935); The Commerce Power Versus States Rights--Back to the Constitution (1936); Court Over Constitution (1938); The President--Office and Powers (1940); Constitutional Revolution (1941); The Constitution and World Organization (1944); Total War and the Constitution (1947); Liberty Against Government (1948); and A Constitution of Powers in a Secular State (1951). Corwin was also co-editor of The War Cyclopedia (1917).

In addition to teaching and writing, Corwin was an advisor to the Public Works Administration in 1935, and in 1936 and 1937 he served under the U.S. Attorney General as a special assistant and consultant on constitutional questions. In 1937 he gave full support to President Roosevelt's Supreme Court reorganization plan. In 1954 he served as chairman of a national committee which opposed the Bricker Amendment to restrict the treaty-making powers of the President.

Corwin was a president of the American Political Science Association and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He was also a member of the American Historical Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the Institut International de Droit Public.

Corwin retired from Princeton in 1946 as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus. Following his retirement, he taught at Columbia University, the University of Virginia, New York University School of Law, Emory University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington though he continued to live in Princeton. He died on April 29, 1963.

From the guide to the Edward S. Corwin Papers, circa 1860-1961, 1920-1958, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)

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Subjects:

  • Political science--Study and teaching--New Jersey--Princeton--20th century
  • Civil rights--United States--20th century
  • American history/Gilded Age, Populism, Progressivism
  • Political science--Study and teaching--20th century
  • Executive power--20th century
  • Civil rights--20th century
  • Political scientists--United States--20th century--Correspondence
  • Due process of law--United States--20th century
  • Political scientists--20th century--Correspondence
  • American politics and government
  • Public policy/20th century
  • Due process of law--20th century
  • Princeton University
  • Executive power--United States--20th century
  • American history/20th century
  • Legal history

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • New Jersey--Princeton (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)