|JEROME SHESTACK (Ralph Crane/N.Y. Times/File 1980)|
WASHINGTON - Jerome J. Shestack, a noted attorney, human rights advocate, and supporter of Israel, died Thursday of kidney failure at his home, his family said. He was 88.
A prominent Philadelphia lawyer, Mr. Shestack was president of the American Bar Association in the late 1990s. He also served as chairman of the International League for Human Rights and US representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Mr. Shestack “a committed public servant and a dogged defender of human rights.’’
“As president of the American Bar Association, and in the years following, he set the standard for how civil society leaders can promote human rights,’’ she said.
Mr. Shestack was active in Democratic politics, working for Adlai Stevenson and writing speeches for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver, and Edmund Muskie. He was on the Democratic Party’s platform committee at the national convention in 1984.
Mr. Shestack was born in Atlantic City, N.J. He served in the Navy in World War II as a gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and was wounded in a kamikaze attack by the Japanese, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. It said he was saved from greater injury because lunch that day was pork, which he did not eat because he was Jewish, so he avoided the deck hit hardest by the attack.