Kunstler, William

From Astro-Databank
Jump to: navigation, search
Kunstler, William Gender: M
William Moses Kunstler
born on 7 July 1919 at 19:00 (= 7:00 PM )
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EDT h4w (is daylight saving time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Penfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 14°45' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 15°36 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 24°33'

William Kunstler
photo: Joel Seidenstein (1944-2008), license cc-by-sa-3.0


American author and radical attorney noted for being a crusader for the people's rights against the all-powerful state. Kunstler specialized in protecting the rights of the unpopular, political dissidents, civil disobeyers and the militant poor. He epitomized a generation of white, middle-class attorneys who worked for civil rights, electrified by cases that were unpopular and with clients that had few allies in the legal profession. His deep mistrust of government fueled his enthusiasm to help the underdog in society. In 1994, he wrote his autobiography, "My Life as a Radical Lawyer."

In 1919, Kunstler was an honor student at Yale University and later at Columbia Law School. He originally became a lawyer for the prestige, status and relatively high income given the respectable career. He served in WW II and was awarded the Bronze Star under the rank of Major. In 1948, he was admitted to the bar and worked as a conservative corporate lawyer until 1961.

In his 40's, Kunstler left the corporate world and concentrated on the passionate defense of radical causes. In 1961, he took the case of the Freedom Riders to help break segregation in the South. His biggest case was his defense of the Chicago Seven in 1968. It was this case that catapulted the lawyer on to the national scene as a radical lawyer defending the underdog in the American legal system. His other clients included Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lenny Bruce. He protested the Vietnam War and fought police brutality. In the 1970s, he defended Native Americans, members of the Black Panthers, revolutionaries, Yippies and Abbie Hoffman. In the '80s and '90s, Kunstler's critics called him a relic of the 1960s who ran out of causes to support. He defended organized crime figure John Gotti and Malcolm X's daughter Qubilah Shabazz from charges of trying to have Louis Farrakhan killed. In 1991, he won the acquittal of El Sayyid A. Nosair of charges of killing Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League. Unpopular with prosecutors, Kunstler capitalized on his fame by writing his books, "The Case for Courage," 1962 and "Deep in my Heart," 1966. In 1970, the lawyer with the long flyaway hair and signature bifocals perched above his forehead was almost thrown in jail for four years for contempt of court.

On 1/14/1943 he married his first wife with whom he had two children. In 1977, he met his second wife, Margaret Ratner while working on a legal case.

Kunstler had a pacemaker installed on 8/07/1995 to help stabilize his heart. He died of a cardiac arrest on 9/04/1995 in New York, NY.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Davis, Rennie (born 23 May 1940). Notes: Attorney/client
  • associate relationship with Hoffman, Abbie (born 30 November 1936). Notes: Attorney/client
  • associate relationship with Rubin, Jerry (born 14 July 1938). Notes: Attorney/client


  • Work : New Career 1948 (Admitted to bar, conservative coporate lawyer)
  • Work : New Job 1961 (Became radical lawyer)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1962 (Book, "The Case for Courage")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1966 (Book, "Deep In My Heart")
  • Social : Great Publicity 1968 (Defended Chicago Seven)
  • Social Crime Perpetration 1970 (Contempt of court)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1977 (Second wife)
  • Social : Great Publicity 1991 (Won acquittal of El Sayyid A. Nosair)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1994 (Autobiography, "My Life as a Radical Lawyer")
  • Health : Medical procedure 7 August 1995 (Pacemaker installed)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Marc Penfield quotes correspondence with him, MH 7/1981. Verified by LMR, copy in hand.


  • Traits : Body : Hair (Long, flyaway hair)
  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (Earned J.D.)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Heart (Cardiac arrest, fatal)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (To install pacemaker)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (First marriage)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Same Job more than 10 yrs (Conservative coporate lawyer)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Civil/ Political (Contempt of court)
  • Vocation : Law : Attorney (Radical attorney, defended the underdog)
  • Vocation : Military : Honors (Bronze Star)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political (Civil rights)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Verbal skills
  • Notable : Awards : Medals (Bronze Star)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession