Ernst, Morris L. (Morris Leopold), 1888-1976

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Morris Ernst (August 23, 1888 – May 21, 1976) was an American lawyer and prominent attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In public life, he defended and asserted the rights of Americans to privacy and freedom from censorship, playing a significant role in challenging and overcoming the banning of certain works of literature (including James Joyce's Ulysses and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness) and in asserting the right of media employees to organise labor unions. He also promoted an anti-communist stance within the ACLU itself, and was a member of the President's Committee on Civil Rights.

Morris Leopold Ernst was born in Uniontown, Alabama, on August 23, 1888, into a Jewish family. The family moved to New York when Morris was two, and lived in several locations in Manhattan where Carl ran a general store. Morris attended the Horace Mann School and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1909. He studied law at night at New York Law School where he graduated in 1912 and was admitted to the New York bar in 1913.

In 1912, he married Susan Leerburger, with whom he had a son (who died in infancy) and a daughter. Susan died in 1922. Ernst married Margaret Samuels in 1923, and together they had a son and a daughter. Margaret died in 1964. Ernst kept a summer home on Nantucket, Massachusetts, and enjoyed sailing small boats. He died at home in New York City on May 21, 1976. He was survived by his son, both daughters, and five grandchildren.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1944 Yale University Library
creatorOf Cousins, Margaret, 1905-1996. Papers, 1921-1973. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn GABOR, Professor Dennis (1900-1979), 1911-1985 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn John Foster Dulles oral history collection, 1964-1967 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn Kluger, Richard. Brown vs. Board of Education collection, 1950-1975 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
referencedIn Joseph Barnes Papers, 1923-1970 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Brennan, William Joseph. William J. Brennan Papers, 1945-1998. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Papers, 1948-1950. Indiana University
creatorOf Bergman, Bernard Aaron, 1894-1980. Papers, 1933-1978. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Bridge, Ann, 1889-1974. Papers, 1815-1973, (bulk 1905-1973). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union. Illinois Division. Records, 1920-1982 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Russell Cornell Leffingwell papers, 1883-1979 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Papers, 1933-1937 ((inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Raushenbush, Elizabeth Brandeis. Paul A. Raushenbush and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush papers, 1918-1980. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
referencedIn Alexander Woollcott correspondence, ca. 1856-1943 (inclusive), 1920-1943 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Research materials on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1910-1972 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Ehrmann, Herbert Brutus, 1891-1970. Papers of Herbert Brutus Ehrmann, 1906-1970 (inclusive), 1926-1968 (bulk). Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Morris L. Ernst Banned Books Collection, ca. 1956-1990 University of California, Santa Barbara. Davidson Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn Mellett, Lowell, 1884-1960. Papers, 1938-1944. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Florence Rose Papers MS 134., 1832 - 1970, 1920-1969 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Zeligs, Meyer Aaron. Meyer Aaron Zeligs Papers. 1923-1978. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Kluger, Richard. Brown vs. Board of Education collection, 1950-1975 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Papers, 1933-1937 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Wisdom, William B. William B. Wisdom collection of Thomas Wolfe. 1909-1959. Houghton Library
referencedIn Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Leffingwell, R. C. (Russell Cornell), 1883-1960. Russell Cornell Leffingwell papers, 1883-1979 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Marshall, Lenore, 1897-1971. Papers, 1887-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Morris L. Ernst Banned Books Collection, ca. 1956-1990. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Additional papers of Mary Ware Dennett, 1892-1945 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Willard L. (AC 1920) and Clarice Brows Thorp Papers, 1857-1994, 1920-1967 Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Brennan, William J. (William Joseph), 1906-1997. William J. Brennan papers, 1945-1998 (bulk 1956-1990). Library of Congress
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
referencedIn Rose, Florence. Papers, 1832-1970 bulk 1920-1969. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Freund, Paul A. Paul A. Freund papers. 1918-1993. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Thomas J. Dodd Papers, undated, 1919-1971. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Harry Huntt Ransom Papers 73-88; 83-413; 85-302; 86-255; 90-248; 90-323; 92-210; 95-228; 97-146; 98-132; 98-263; 2002-238; 2005-091; 2008-112; 2008-316., 1930-1990 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Ehrmann, Herbert B. (Herbert Brutus), 1891-1970. Papers, 1906-1970 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Thomas J. Dodd Papers, undated, 1919-1971. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Roger William Riis Papers, 1903-1990, (bulk 1921-1952) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Reminiscences of Morris Leopold Ernst : oral history, 1965. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Leon Trotsky exile papers, 1929-1940. Houghton Library
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1928-1937. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972 (bulk 1929-1957) Yale University Library
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Records, 1938-1982. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Riis, Roger William, b. 1894. Roger William Riis papers, 1903-1990 (bulk 1921-1952). Library of Congress
referencedIn Joseph Barnes Papers, 1923-1970 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888-1976. Letter, 1967, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers, 1874-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972 (bulk 1929-1957) Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Cousins, Margaret, 1905-1996. Papers, 1921-1973 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
referencedIn Frank, Jerome, 1889-1957. Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972 (inclusive), 1929-1957 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Ann Bridge [pseudonym of Mary Dolling Sanders O'Malley] Papers TXRC95-A3., 1815-1973, bulk 1905-1973 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series II, 1894-1948 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Kirchwey, Freda. Papers, 1871-1972 (inclusive), 1937-1971 (bulk) [microform]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Ransom, Harry Huntt, 1908-1976. Ransom, Harry Huntt, papers, 1930-1967. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Kirchwey, Freda, 1893-1976. Papers, 1871-1972 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Drew Pearson. 1915 - 1969. Files from the Georgetown Office and Residence Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Relation Name
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. corporateBody
associatedWith Barnes, Joseph, 1907-1970. person
associatedWith Bergman, Bernard Aaron, 1894-1980. person
correspondedWith Bok, Curtis, 1897-1962 person
associatedWith Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986. person
correspondedWith Brennan, William J. (William Joseph), 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Bridge, Ann, 1889-1974 person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Cousins, Margaret, 1905-1996. person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947 person
correspondedWith Dodd, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1907-1971 person
associatedWith Ehrmann, Herbert Brutus, 1891-1970. person
associatedWith Ernst, Margaret. person
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
associatedWith Frank, Jerome, 1889-1957. person
associatedWith Gabor, Dennis, 1900-1979 person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Gordon Firm (Philadelphia, Pa.), corporateBody
associatedWith Greenbaum, Wolff and Ernst (New York) corporateBody
associatedWith Greenbaum, Wolff and Ernst (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Herbert Packer person
associatedWith Kirchwey, Freda, 1893-1976 person
associatedWith Kluger, Richard. person
associatedWith Kluger, Richard. person
associatedWith Leffingwell, R. C. (Russell Cornell), 1878-1960 person
associatedWith Leffingwell, R. C. (Russell Cornell), 1883-1960. person
associatedWith Marshall, Lenore, 1897-1971. person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Mellett, Lowell, 1884-1960. person
associatedWith Michael Smith person
associatedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Pilpel, Harriet F., 1911- person
associatedWith Pilpel, Harriet Fleischl, 1911- person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Ransom, Harry Huntt, 1908-1976. person
associatedWith Raushenbush, Elizabeth Brandeis. person
correspondedWith Riis, Roger William, 1894- person
associatedWith Rose, Florence person
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. corporateBody
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Stone, Hannah Mayer, 1893-1941. person
associatedWith Thorp, Willard Long, 1899-1992 person
correspondedWith Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940 person
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Weinberger, Harry, 1888- person
associatedWith Welles, Orson, 1915-1985 person
correspondedWith Wisdom, William B., 1900-1977 person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Yorburg, Betty, person
associatedWith Zeligs, Meyer Aaron, 1909-1978 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Perry County AL US
Subject
Birth control
Birth control
Censorship
Censorship
Lawyers
Obscenity (Law)
Prohibited books
Socialism
Trials (Obscenity)
Occupation
Lawyers
Activity

Person

Birth 1888-08-23

Death 1976-05-21

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w65v4b4f

SNAC ID: 85693588