In Memoriam: George W. Martin

The New York City Bar Association mourns the passing of George W. Martin, a former member who was commissioned by the City Bar to write the history of the Association’s first hundred years. Causes and Conflicts: The Centennial History of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York was published in 1970, with a second edition in 1997, and has been an indispensable resource for the City Bar ever since.

Mr. Martin was admitted to the Bar in New York City in 1955 and became a City Bar member in 1957. He practiced law for five years before turning to writing full time. He was awarded the Erwin D. Griswold Prize by the Supreme Court Historical Society in 2005 for his biography of Charles C. Burlingham, a prominent New York City attorney who served as City Bar President from 1929-1931. His other works included Madam Secretary, Frances Perkins, a biography of the United States’ first female Presidential Cabinet member, published in 1976.

Mr. Martin was and is perhaps best known for his books about music, including The Opera Companion: A Guide for the Casual Operagoer published in 1961, which became a standard reference reprinted in four subsequent editions, and numerous works on Giuseppe Verdi. He donated a collection of 350 Verdi scores and librettos to the Pierpont Morgan Library, and his papers gathered during research for his book The Damrosch Dynasty: America’s First Family of Music are kept at the New York Public Library.

George Martin