Robert Morris Morgenthau served as District Attorney in New York City for nine consecutive terms from January 1975 until he stepped down in December 2009.
Morgenthau was born on July 31, 1919 in New York City to a prominent Jewish family. His father, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman.
Upon graduating from Amherst College in 1941, Robert Morgenthau enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent four and a half years on active duty during World War II. After the war he enrolled in Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1948, and went on to practice law at New York City firm Patterson, Belknap & Webb.
After practicing corporate law for 12 years, Morgenthau left the private sector in 1961 and accepted an appointment from President John F. Kennedy as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Following the election of President Nixon in 1970, Morgenthau resigned as U.S. Attorney, only to return to the public sector in 1974 when he was elected as District Attorney of New York County.
The Manhattan D.A.'s office prosecuted many noteworthy cases with Morgenthau at the helm, including the trial of Mark David Chapman for murdering John Lennon, the trial of the "Preppie Killer" Robert Chambers, and the trial of Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz for the Tyco corporate scandal.
Morgenthau has five children with his first wife who passed away, and two children with his second wife, journalist Lucinda Franks.