Joseph Meyer Proskauer (1877-1971)

By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!

Proskauer was a member of the American Liberty League Advisory Council and its Executive Committee.

J.M. Proskauer was a trusted political adviser, speech-writer and golfing partner of New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, who appointed him to the N.Y. Supreme court in 1923. In 1924, Proskauer returned the favour by nominating Smith for president. Although both were leading Democrats, they led vociferous opposition to Roosevelt’s “New Deal” in the 1930s. Proskauer returned to private practice in 1930 and remained with Proskauer, Rose & Paskus for 40 years. The Proskauer Rose website notes that among the cases “considered his most significant were the defense of [the Rockefeller family’s] National City Bank in lawsuits seeking recovery of confiscated assets following the Russian Revolution…and the Harriman Bank receivership.”

When the American Liberty League was formed, Proskauer was the Consolidated Gas Co.’s general counsel and was considered a stooge of J.P. Morgan. He was also an executive of the American Jewish Committee which, during the 1930s, opposed efforts by the American Jewish Congress to promote a widespread public boycott of German products. (The American Jewish Committee now has 100,000 U.S. members. It sponsors Campus Watch, a right-wing campus organization that monitors academics who oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They argue that all “boycotts of Israeli goods or other protests against its policies are inevitably anti-Semitic.”)

In John Spivak’s 1935 exposé of the anti-FDR fascist plot, Proskauer is identified as “close to Hearst interests” (New Masses, Feb. 5, 1935). After 70 years, Hearst Entertainment is still listed as a Proskauer Rose client. The firm now has 590 lawyers serving many of the world’s wealthiest corporations, including several that are mentioned in this issue of Press for Conversion!:

* Akzo Nobel
* Banque Privee E. Rothschild
* J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
* Morgan Stanley
* New York Stock Exchange
* New York Times
* The Rockefeller Group
* Walt Disney Productions
* Warburg Dillon Read
* Yale University


Who Was Proskauer?

Representative Clients

American Jewish Committee

Samuel Untermeyer

Source: Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue # 53, "Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism," March 2004. Published by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.

Order a Copy: Order a hard copy of this 54-page issue of Press for Conversion! on the fascist plot to overthrow President F.D.Roosevelt and the corporate leaders who planned and financed this failed coup.