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Burton Roberts Obituary

Burton Roberts (Photo: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - The outspoken judge who was the model for the cranky jurist in Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities" has died. Burton Roberts was 88.

He lived at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in the Bronx. The home says he died Sunday.

Roberts spent a half-century in public service law as a prosecutor and judge in the Bronx. He left in 1998 at the mandatory retirement age of 76.

Roberts was the model for Myron Kovitsky, a hero of Wolfe's acclaimed novel. Both the real and the fictional judges were famous for their tempers and rants from the bench.

But Roberts was also greatly admired for his compassion, his sense of justice and his legal acumen.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press