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Hamilton, James Cox James Cox Hamilton, of Cambridge and Truro, MA, a Boston corporate lawyer and champion of civil rights and liberties, died on Monday, Aug. 4, after a long illness. He was 77. Throughout his long career, he was widely admired in the legal community for his judgment, integrity, and civility and was a beloved mentor to younger lawyers. "He was incredibly generous in guiding me as a young lawyer, and the imprint of his humanity, his integrity, and his relish for life never faded," said US District Judge Michael Ponsor, at one time a member of Mr. Hamilton's law firm. "Jim was one of those people whose wisdom and kindness were so penetrating that you end up living your life so as not to disappoint him." Mr. Hamilton began his practice in the City of Boston Law Department and subsequently served as a Special Assistant to the Cambridge City Law Department. In 1969, he founded a small firm that at various times included Ponsor, former US Attorney Wayne A. Budd, former Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, former Boston Bar Association President Gene Dahmen, the late Gerald A. Berlin and the late William P. Homans. In 2005, Mr. Hamilton joined the regional firm of Verrill Dana, LLP, from which he retired in 2013. Mr. Hamilton served as a board member and president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and for many years on the board of its Foundation. The ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts is establishing a James Cox Hamilton Fund in his honor. Born in Meadville, PA, Mr. Hamilton graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1959. A chemistry major and student body president at the college, he went on to earn a Master's Degree in chemistry from Brandeis University and a Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School. Mr. Hamilton remained active in Earlham College affairs, serving most recently on the Alumni Council. Recognizing his contributions, Earlham has established The James Cox Hamilton Endowed Scholarship to be awarded to a student with financial need. Mr. Hamilton is survived by his sister, Virginia Pollard of Conneautville, PA, and her husband John; daughter Lauren C. Hamilton and her husband Richard Selesnick, of Rhinebeck, NY; and stepson Paul Chapin Kaynor and his wife Danielle, of Chicago, Illinois; his longtime friend Constance Paige; his former wife Margaret Hamilton; as well two grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, three great grandchildren, many nieces, grandnieces, grandnephews, great grandnieces and great grandnephews. A Truro burial service will be private. A celebration of his life will be held in Cambridge in the fall. Contributions in his name can be made to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts, c/o Bliss Austin Spooner, 211 Congress St., Boston, MA 02110. For donations, or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.keefefuneralhome.com
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 6, 2014
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