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Harry Claude Sigman


1939 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Harry Claude Sigman Obituary
June 25, 1939 - August 19, 2017 Harry Claude Sigman, eminent Los Angeles attorney, died peacefully in his sleep at home on August 19, 2017, after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. He is survived by his sister Felice Rhiannon of Brighton UK; his daughter Elena Sigman of New York City; his son Jonathan Sigman and Jonathan's wife Kristen Gunning, of Kingston, Rhode Island; and his grandchildren Isaiah, Asher, Eli, and Ruby. Mr. Sigman was born in Strasbourg, France on June 25, 1939 to Selma and Jules Sigman, who at the time were planning their flight from Hitler's Europe. The family could not gain immediate entry to the U.S. so Mr. Sigman spent his first years in Cuba before his family immigrated to the United States in 1942. He grew up in Kew Gardens, Queens, and the family moved in 1952 to Los Angeles, which was his home for the rest of his life. Mr. Sigman was a graduate of UCLA and a member of Phi Sigma Delta. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Sigman forged a distinguished career in the law. He clerked for California State Supreme Court Justice Raymond E. Peters. He was a member of the California State bar for more than 50 years and is a recipient of its Business Law Section's Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Sigman taught commercial law at University of Southern California, UCLA, and at universities in Europe and Israel. He developed a particular expertise in Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), was a primary author of important changes to that law, and was active in the UCC Committee of the American Bar Association. He has worked as a consultant to governments and NGOs all over the world. Mr. Sigman represented the U.S. at the United Nations, The Hague, and UNIDROIT (the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law) in multilateral commercial law treaty negotiations. He has written and edited numerous influential articles and books on commercial law and secured transactions in both the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Sigman dedicated his time and resources to community work throughout his life, with a focus on services for the elderly and eliminating hunger. Toward the end of his life, Mr. Sigman supported Hillel at his alma mater UCLA as well as the revitalization of Jewish life in Europe through Paideia-The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. In addition, Mr. Sigman endowed funds at UCLA's Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies to support undergraduate study abroad programs in Israel, and to support graduate fellowships, lectures, and panels on Israel for students and the public. An expert in the law, Mr. Sigman was equally erudite in art, architecture, history, and politics, often impressing professionals in those fields with his detailed and vast knowledge and analysis. Mr. Sigman was an accomplished world traveler and was fluent in six languages. He gave generously from his substantial collection of early 20th century decorative arts objects to the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and the Neue Gallerie in New York City. Mr. Sigman was beloved by his family, friends, and colleagues. May his memory be a blessing. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 27 at 2:00pm at UCLA Hillel, 574 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Special Needs Programs at Jewish Family Service Los Angeles, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, 90010, www.jfsla.org; or Mazon, a Jewish Response to Hunger, PO Box 96119, Washington, DC 20090, www.mazon.org.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 24, 2017
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