Schwartz, Nathan
Interview Date
Januarty, 1993
Respondent lawyer and judge, born, 1916.
[T1S1] Respondent provides information on father; American born, owned several businesses; then owned real estate business with Senator James J. Coyne. Respondent describes family residence where he grew up: still lives there today. Respondent recounts schools he attended: Wightman School, Arnold School (now Shadyside Academy) Taylor Allderdice High School, University of Pittsburgh and its Law School. Respondent notes depression prevented him from attending Harvard Law School. Respondent describes father as religious man: supported Tree of Life Synagogue, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol and Rodef Shalom Temple; engaged in Jewish philanthropy, widely respected in community. Respondent's father and Senator Coyne influential in winning program of State aid to hospitals; moving Montefiore Hospital to its present Oakland location, and development of Oakland medical center. Respondent explains his interests in politics; fostered by parents whose home was haven for politicians.
[T1S2] Respondent comments on Pittsburgh business community in early years; lack of integration of Jews into non-Jewish society and cleavage between Jews from Eastern Europe and those from Germany. Respondent recalls sports facilities at Rodef Shalom Temple. Respondent reflects on Army experience: drafted, 1942; discharged, 1945; notes Army service included court martial work and contact with Holocaust survivors. Respondent comments on anti-Semitism, barriers between Jews and non-Jews. Respondent discusses his return to Pittsburgh and his practice of law focusing on real estate; used his expertise to advise University of Pittsburgh and Carlow College to help save Oakland from ravishes of redevelopment.
[T2S3] Respondent provides background on mother's family (Rosenthal): owned Globe Furniture Co. Respondent details education and careers of four children; recalls courtship, marriage and honeymoon with wife, Florence Comensky; notes religious affiliations with Rodef Shalom Temple, Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, Tree of Life Synagogue; comments on his father's influence, self educated man, worked closely with Pennsylvania's political leaders. Respondent notes father helped Jewish students get into medical school; played role in dispensing State scholarships and made many charitable contributions including helping Leonard Marx who became nationally recognized attorney. Respondent discusses severity of depression and its affect on family real estate business; notes father and friends delivered food packages at night to once wealthy families too proud to ask for help. Respondent currently serves as Senior Judge; most proud of handling multi-million dollar Charles Morris Trust which benefits Jewish community; comments on hobbies, travel, role in politics and changes in Squirrel Hill as residential community.
[T2S4] Respondent comments on extra curricular interests, support for Jewish causes, the Holocaust, Vietnam War, civil rights movement and Israel; relates political connections and campaign activities associated with Governor Milton Shapp who appointed him to position as Judge; comments on friendship with Sam Begler and Pete Flaherty; considers wife and family his greatest achievements, focuses on differences in family relations today as compared to those he had with his father. Respondent discusses wife's antique business; expert on early American quilts. Respondent comments on changes in Pittsburgh Jewish community; details number of Jewish judges.
[T3S5] Respondent discusses role of Senator Coyne, anti-Semitism, Charles Morris Trust, legal profession, judgeships, Jewish contributions to democratic political process, changes in law practice and his service as president of the state trial judges of Pennsylvania.
[T3S6] No abstract for this side.
Coyne, James J., 1882-; Economic Depression; Hospitals; Montefiore Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Pittsburgh (Pa.)--History; Judges; Lawyers; Law; Charles M. Morris Trust; City planning--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh; Politics; Shaap, Milton J., 1912-1994; Judges--Pennsylvania
Birth Date
Lawyer; Judge
Occupation (father)
Length (hours)
Bastacky, Shulami
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 10
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