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Historical Biography

Attorney General: Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach

Katzenbach, Nicholas
65th Attorney General, -
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Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 17, 1922. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, received his B.A. cum laude from Princeton University in 1945, and in 1947 his LL.B. cum laude from Yale University Law School. From 1947 to 1949 he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1950 and the Connecticut bar in 1955. He was an associate in the law firm of Katzenbach, Gildea, and Rudner in 1950. From 1950 to 1952 he was attorney-advisor in the Office of General Counsel to the Secretary of the Air Force. Katzenbach was associate professor of law at Yale from 1952 to 1956, and professor of law at the University of Chicago from 1956 to 1960. He served in the Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel in 1961 to1962, and as Deputy Attorney General from 1962 to 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Katzenbach Attorney General of the United States on February 11, 1965, and he held the office until October 2, 1966. He also served as Under Secretary of State from 1966 to 1969. Katzenbach died on May 8, 2012 in Skillman, New Jersey.

About the Artist: Alan Wood-Thomas


Born in Paris, France, the artist received a degree in philosophy at the University of Paris. After military service in World War II, he painted in New York and then in Clinton, Connecticut. He painted Attorney General Katzenbach in 1968. This painting was met with some criticism as it was considered "avant-garde" and not in keeping with the more traditional portrayals of cabinet members. However, Katzenbach was pleased with the work and it remains his official portrait.

Updated October 24, 2022