Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1939-1950
Wilber G. Katz was born in 1902 and earned his A.B. degree Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin in 1923. He went on to Harvard Law School, where he served as Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated with his LL.B. in 1926. Katz practiced law for two years in New York at the Wall Street firm of Root, Clark, Buckner & Ballantine before returning to Harvard Law School for a year of post-graduate study. There he worked with law professor and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter; the two co-edited a textbook, Cases and Other Authorities on Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure (1931). It was likely Justice Frankfurter who brought Katz to the attention of University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins. Katz joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School in 1930, one of the first appointments made by the new university president.
Soon after joining the Law School faculty, Katz became associated with the Chicago law firm of Bell, Boyden and Marshall. Katz taught at the Law School for three decades, serving as dean from 1939-1950. In 1955, Katz was named the Knapp Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin School of Law. Katz left the University of Chicago to become the George I. Haight Professor of Law at Wisconsin in 1961. He retired as a full professor in 1970, but continued to teach at Wisconsin as an emeritus professor. Katz passed away in Milwaukee in 1979.