Personal photos from Jay Rabinowitz, which were donated to the Joint Archives of the Alaska Court System and the Alaska Bar Association
Jay Rabinowitz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1927, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II, received a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1949, and graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1952. Jay came to Alaska in 1957 as a law clerk for territorial judge, Vernon Forbes. Following service as assistant U.S. attorney for Alaska, and as the Alaska deputy attorney general, in 1960 he was appointed to the superior court in Fairbanks by Governor Bill Egan. In 1965, Jay was elevated to the Alaska Supreme Court where he served the next 32 years until his retirement in 1998. He had four terms as Chief Justice. Justice Rabinowitz was very much admired and respected, leaving behind a strong legal legacy and having mentored many people in Alaska's current legal and judicial community. The Alaska Court of Appeals state courthouse in Fairbanks is named in his honor. In addition to the interview with Jay Rabinowitz in the Judges of Alaska Project Jukebox by Ron Inouye, he was also interviewed in October 1982. This interview is available at the Joint Archives of the Alaska Court System and the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska State Court Law Library, Boney Courthouse, Anchorage, Alaska (907) 264-0585/(888) 282-2082 and at the Oral History Collection, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, (907) 474-6773. For more about Justice Jay Rabinowitz.