Samuel Steinfeld, 101, a former chief justice of Kentucky’s highest court, died Nov. 22, 2007.
“My dad was dedicated to anything that he went into,” whether it was the law, politics, civic leadership or his family, his son, James Steinfeld, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “He loved the law, I can tell you that.”
Steinfeld was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, then Kentucky’s highest court, in 1966.
He said at the time, “I have a great respect for the decisions of the court in the past. I feel that it’s important not to deviate from the law as we have known it, unless circumstances change that call for such deviation.”
Steinfeld was born Feb. 15, 1906, in Louisville. He graduated from the University of Louisville law school, and joined his father’s law firm, Gifford & Steinfeld. Steinfeld served on the Court of Appeals from 1967 to 1975 and became chief justice in 1972.
Steinfeld was a leader in Louisville’s Jewish community. He had been president of the Jewish Community Center and was a trustee of the old Adath Israel Congregation, Luoisville’s oldest, which later merged with another congregation to form what is now The Temple.
Steinfeld’s wife of 78 years, Flora, died in April. He met her when he was 12 years old and told his mother upon the meeting, “I’m going to marry that girl,” according to their son.
Besides his son, Steinfeld is survived by a daughter, Helane Grossman, and a sister, Thelma Isaacs.