Gray Thoron - Clip 3

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Gray Thoron


Franklin Fink

Resource Type

Video Interview

Date of Recording





From the video archives of the Cornell Law School Heritage Project. The interviewer is Frank Fink; the videographer, Thomas R. Bruce. This video covers Gray Thoron's further reflections on his Law Practice Dynamics course and its importance in view of the pressures on young lawyers, his reading of excerpts from student papers, and the value of starting a career away from Wall Street. Clip 3 of 3.

Gray Thoron came to Cornell to serve as Dean of the Law School from 1956 to 1963. He remained at the Law School for over 30 years until his retirement in 1987, teaching criminal law, criminal and civil procedure, professional ethics, and practice.

Prior to joining academia, Gray Thoron worked in private practice with the New York City firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. He also served as assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States, was a member of the Laporte Legislative Ethics Commission in New York, and for one year served as New York State Special Assistant Attorney General. He also served in WWII as a combat infantryman in an armored brigade, becoming Company Commander and sustaining serious injuries leading an assault on the Siegfried Line. He was awarded the Purple Heart and both Bronze and Silver Stars.

As Dean of the Law School he left his mark in many ways, including recruiting distinguished faculty members; substantially increasing the endowment and alumni giving; expanding the school with the construction of the Charles Evans Hughes residence wing; inaugurating guest lecture series that brought speakers from around the globe; and launching the Legal Aid Clinic. Born in 1916, Gray Thoron died in 2015


Cornell Law School, Cornell Law School alumni, Law professors, Law school deans


Legal Education


The initial phase of this project was sponsored by a generous grant from the law firm of Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP.