Alan Dershowitz was born, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Raised an Orthodox Jew, Dershowitz graduated from Brooklyn College in 1959 and went on to graduate first in his class from Yale Law School in 1962. He served a clerk to the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a year, then as clerk of Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg during the 1963-64 term. In 1964, he became assistant professor at Harvard Law School, and became full professor in 1967; at the time, he was the youngest full professor of law in the school's history. Dershowitz described himself as a lawyer of last resort and only accepted cases he felt were challenging and precedent setting, mostly in criminal defense. He represented many high-profile defendants in his legal career, either as a defense attorney or consultant, including Patty Hearst, Harry Reems, Leona Helmsley, Mike Tyson, Michael Milken, OJ Simpson, and Julian Assange. One of Dershowitz's most renowned cases was his appellate defense of socialite Claus von Bulow, convicted of the attempted murder of his wealthy wife Sunny, who had slipped into a coma under mysterious circumstances. His appeal was successful in overturning von Bulow's conviction, and the attorney published his account of the trial in the book Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bulow Case, published in 1985 and adapted into the 1990 film "Reversal of Fortune." Over his career, Dershowitz wrote dozens of books (both fiction and non-fiction) and made innumerable appearances on TV news programs as a legal pundit. He retired from teaching at Harvard in 2013. In his later years, Dershowitz devoted a good deal of his time and energy to finding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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