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In Memoriam: Herbert F. Schwartz

Herbert F. Schwartz

Media Relations Office


August 27, 2014

(508) 289-3340

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with deep sorrow the death on July 15, 2014 of former Life Trustee and Honorary Member, Herbert “Herb” F. Schwartz.  Herb and his wife Nan became WHOI Associates in 2001.  Herb served as a Trustee from 2006 to 2008; he was elected an Honorary Trustee (now known as Life Trustee) in 2008.  Herb also served as a Member of the Corporation from 2003 to 2008 before election as an Honorary Member.   He was a member of the Ocean and Climate Change Committee; had served on the Business Development Committee (Chair, 2009 to 2011); Office of Applied Oceanography Committee (Chair, 2006 to 2009); and the Trustee Chairman Search Committee.  Herb also participated in the WHOI Science Partnership Program. 

Herbert Frederick Schwartz was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 23, 1935.  He was the son of the late Henry and Blanche (Goldberg) Schwartz.   Herb earned a BSEE degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957; he received a MA in Applied Economics from the Warton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a LLB, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964, where he was Editor of the Law Review.  He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1957-1959. 

Herb began his legal career with Fish & Neave in 1964; he became Partner in 1972 and Managing Partner in 1985.  Fish & Neave merged with Ropes & Gray LLP in 2005, and Herb joined as Partner in the Intellectual Property Group and remained there until he retired in 2007. 

Herb was an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Herb was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, American Law Institute, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.  He served as a Director of the International Intellectual Property Institute, and he was a member and former president of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. 

Herb was the principal author of “Patent Law and Practice,” the official text of the Federal Judicial Center, cited extensively by numerous federal courts, including the Supreme Court.  In 1997 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” 

Herb began sailing while at MIT and was a renowned racing sailor.  Over the years he won many regattas, including the Swan American trophy, the New York Yacht Club Sesquicentennial, the Marblehead to Halifax race; and in 2000 he won his class in both the Block Island Race and the Newport to Bermuda race.  Herb was a board member of the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound for many years, and he was instrumental in bringing the Optimist to Long Island Sound in the early 1980s.  He was an active member of the Greenwich Cove Racing Association; Cruising Club of America, Riverside Yacht Club, and the New York Yacht Club.

Herb and his wife, Nan Budde Chequer, resided in Riverside, Connecticut.  In addition to Nan, he is survived by three children from his first marriage to Gail Lubets: Wendy H., Karen A., and Peter A. Schwartz; three stepchildren: Elizabeth Hendee, Anne H. Chequer, and Laura D. Chequer; and eight grandchildren.

Originally published: August 27, 2014