Paul Drennan Cravath
Paul Drennan Cravath
|Died||July 1, 1940 (aged 78)|
Columbia Law School
|Known for||The Cravath System|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Agnes Huntington (1892–1940)|
|Children||Vera Agnes Huntington Cravath|
Cravath graduated from Oberlin College in 1882 and Columbia Law School in 1886 and was awarded the first Municipal Law prize. An early client was George Westinghouse, who was being sued by the Edison Illuminating Company for infringing on Thomas Edison's incandescent lamp patent.
He joined the law firm of Blatchford, Seward & Griswold in 1899. His book of business included: Bethlehem Steel, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., Chemical Bank, E. R. Squibb & Sons, Columbia Gas & Electric, Studebaker Corp. His name was added to the firm's moniker in 1901. Cravath was the authoritative head of the firm from 1906 until his death in 1940, and his formal statement of his conceptions of proper management of a law office still controls its operations. His law firm structure remains widely known today as the Cravath System.
Cravath was highly influential in foreign policy as a leader of the "Atlanticist" movement, comprising influential upper-class lawyers, bankers, academics, and politicians of the Northeast, committed to a strand of Anglophile internationalism. For Cravath, the First World War served as an epiphany, building a deep concern with foreign policy that dominated his remaining career. Fiercely Anglophile, he demanded American intervention in the war against Germany. His goal was to build close Anglo-American cooperation that would be the guiding principle of postwar international organization.
He was one of the founding officers of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921. The founding President of the CFR was John W. Davis, a name partner of the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, while Cravath served as the inaugural Vice-President. Cravath became chairman of the Metropolitan Opera in 1931. He died in 1940.
Cravath spent most of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, where his father Erastus Milo Cravath was a co-founder and the first President of Fisk University from 1875 to 1900. Cravath served as a member and Chairman of the Fisk Board of Trustees for over thirty years and until his death in 1940.
In 1892, he married the opera singer Agnes Huntington. They had a daughter: Vera Agnes Huntington Cravath (1895–1985). She was born on August 28, 1895. Vera Cravath married at least twice: to Lt. James S. Larkin, about 1917, and to William Francis Gibbs in 1927. She died in Rockport, Massachusetts in July 1985.
August Belmont Jr. (right) and Paul Drennan Cravath in 1913
John Oller, author of White Shoe, credits Cravath with creating the model adopted by virtually all white-shoe law firms, 50 years before the term came into use. The Cravath System has been partially adapted by most large law firms
Cravath, Swaine & Moore endures as a leading law firm, and will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2019.
In popular culture
- Richard E. Mendales (July 1, 2001). "Paul Drennan Cravath". American National Biography. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Blair, Rebecca (15 August 2016). "Cravath Lawyer Spotlighted in Book, Movie with Eddie Redmayne". Law.com. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- Dewey, Katrina (August 29, 2016). "Consider The Lawyer: How A Young Paul Cravath Took On Edison". Lawdragon. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- "Died". Time magazine. July 8, 1940. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
Paul Drennan Cravath, 78, massive, magisterial corporation lawyer, head of one of the nation's greatest law firms, Cravath, de Gersdorif, Swaine & Wood; of a heart attack; in Locust Valley, L. I.
- "Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-28.
- Robert Taylor Swaine, The Cravath Firm and Its Predecessors (New York: Ad Press, 1946-48) Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Priscilla Roberts, "Paul D. Cravath, the First World War, and the Anglophile Internationalist Tradition." Australian Journal of Politics and History 2005 51(2): 194-215. ISSN 0004-9522 Fulltext in Ebsco
- "Vera Cravath Gibbs, 89, Dies; Was Active in Opera Groups". The New York Times. July 30, 1985. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
Vera Cravath Gibbs, a former member of the board of the Metropolitan Opera Association and widow of William Francis Gibbs, the naval architect, died Saturday at her home in Rockport, Mass., following a heart attack. She was 89 years old.
- Levinson, Marc (March 20, 2019). "White Shoe Review: Lawyering Up the 20th Century (book review)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- William Henderson (2008). "Are We Selling Results or Résumés?: The Underexplored Linkage Between Human Resource Strategies and Firm-Specific Capital" (PDF). SSRN 1121238. Cite journal requires
- Henderson, Bill. "How most law firms misapply the "Cravath system"". Retrieved 2019-03-22.
- Hawley, Noah, "Fighting for the Light", New York Times (September 4, 2016), p. BR7
- Anderson, Patrick, "The Last Days of Night: The flaws of Thomas Edison, both real and imagined", The Washington Post (August 22, 2016)
- Nolfi, Joey (25 July 2016). "Last Days of Night: Eddie Redmayne to star in big screen adaptation of Graham Moore novel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "The Last Days of Night - IMDb". IMDB. Retrieved 9 October 2018.