David P. Currie, 1936-2007
David P. Currie, a constitutional scholar and professor at the University of Chicago Law School for 45 years, died October 15, 2007. The author of nineteen books and hundreds of articles, he was 71 years old. David Currie’s keen intellect and acumen were widely recognized. Turning scholarship into practice, he was also the author of the 1970 Illinois Environmental Protection Act and the first chair of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
David Currie was born on May 29, 1936, in Macon, Georgia. He received a B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1957, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1960. Following his graduation from law school, David Currie was law clerk first to Court of Appeals Judge Henry J. Friendly and then to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. He joined the University of Chicago Law School faculty in 1962, becoming full Professor of Law in 1968. In 1977 he was appointed the Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law and in 1991 was named Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law.
Professor Currie authored or co-authored three major casebooks on Federal Courts, Environmental Law, and Conflict of Laws. He is the author of numerous articles in legal periodicals as well as various books - including: The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany (1994) and Air Pollution: Federal Law and Analysis (1982).
Professor Currie is perhaps best known in academic circles for two series of books he wrote about constitutional history. The first, The Constitution in the Supreme Court, was published in two volumes (1985 and 1990), each about a century of the Court’s interaction with the Constitution. The second, The Constitution in Congress, appears in four volumes, The Federalist Period (1997), The Jeffersonians (2001), Democrats and Whigs (2005), and Descent into the Maelstrom (2005). He was working on the series at the time of his death.
Professor Currie also wrote a widely read book for non-lawyers entitled The Constitution of the United States: A Primer for the People, and in 2006 recorded a reading of the entire text of the Constitution as a gift to the graduating class of the Law School.
Professor Currie has taught at the Universities of Frankfort, Hanover, Heidelberg, and Tübingen and the European University Institute in Florence. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985. He was a member of the editorial board and frequent contributor to The Green Bag 2d. Currie was a driving force in its creation.
Professor Currie received the Law School'