Ronald Dworkin (Associated Press Photo)
LONDON (AP) - American philosopher and constitutional law expert Ronald Dworkin , best known for articulating the principle that the most important virtue the law can display is integrity, has died. He was 81.
His family said Dworkin died of leukemia in London early Thursday.
Dworkin was a professor of law at New York University and emeritus professor at University College London.
He was one of the best known and most quoted legal scholars in the United States and also an expert on British law.
NYU Law School Dean Richard Revesz said Dworkin was "not only an intellectual giant, but also a masterful teacher, admired colleague and beloved friend." He called Dworkin the most important legal philosopher of his generation.
"He will be dearly missed by those of us who were lucky enough to know him and by the countless people who followed and admired his work," Revesz said.
Dworkin articulated the moral idea that the state should act on principle so each member of the community is treated as an equal.
A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, Dworkin's books included "A Matter of Principle," ''Law's Empire," and "Justice for Hedgehogs."
He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1957 and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, England.
He is survived by his wife Irene Brendel Dworkin, his children Anthony and Jennifer Dworkin and two grandchildren.
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