Philip M. Kleinfeld

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Philip M. Kleinfeld (June 19, 1894 on the Lower East Side of New York City – January 11, 1971 in Manhattan, New York City) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kleinfeld was the son of Max (c.1872–1939) and Bertha Kleinfeld (?-1964).[2][3][4] He graduated from New York Law School in 1916, was admitted to the New York bar, and practiced with Samuel Kramer under the firm name of Kramer & Kleinfeld in New York City. He married Rose Meyers.[1] He was the brother of Clara Kleinfeld and Yette Levine and the Uncle of New York Superior Court Justice Joseph Levine.

Political and judicial career[edit]

Kleinfeld was elected to the New York State Assembly (Kings County, 16th District) in 1922. He was also a member of the New York State Senate (4th District) from 1923 to 1941, sitting in the 146th, 147th, 148th, 149th, 150th, 151st, 152nd, 153rd, 154th, 155th, 156th, 157th, 158th, 159th, 160th, 161st, 162nd and 163rd New York State Legislatures. During his tenure as senator, he wrote a bill to extend the right of jury service to women.[5] He was also a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1938.

On January 13, 1941, New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman appointed Kleinfeld to the New York Supreme Court (2nd District) to fill the vacancy caused by the election of Albert Conway to the New York Court of Appeals.[6] After the removal of the prohibition on sitting state senators being nominated to judicial posts at the 1938 New York State Constitutional Convention, Kleinfeld became the first to be so appointed. In November 1941, he was elected to a fourteen-year term.[7] He was re-elected in November 1955, but on December 31, 1955, was designated by Governor Averell Harriman to the Appellate Division Second Department.[8]

Later life[edit]

Kleinfeld retired from the bench at the end of 1970 and died of heart disease on January 11, 1971, in New York Hospital in Manhattan.[1] He was buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Queens.[9]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Leon G. Moses
New York State Assembly
Kings County, 16th District

Succeeded by
James F. Kiernan
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Maxwell S. Harris
New York State Senate
4th District

Succeeded by
Carmine J. Marasco


  1. ^ a b c "Justice Philip M. Kleinfeld Dies; Served on State Supreme Court". New York Times. January 12, 1971. p. 38. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Max Kleinfeld - Retired Restaurateur, Father of State Senator, Was 67". New York Times. October 6, 1939. p. 25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Deaths". New York Times. December 8, 1964. p. 45. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Deaths". New York Times. December 9, 1964. p. 47. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Philip Kleinfeld". Historical Society of the New York Courts. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Kleinfeld Named As A State Justice - Senator's Albany Associates Applaud Lehman's Choice for Second District - He is Confirmed at Once - Special Election Will Be Called to Fill His Place - Cassidy Put On Labor Board". New York Times. January 14, 1941. p. 22. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. ^ Hagerty, James A. (November 5, 1941). "LaGuardia Wins A Third Term By 133,841; His Ticket Elected, Gets Estimate Board; County Reform Adopted; Harvey Loses - O'Dwyer Vote High - Mayor Retains Office by Thin Margin in Closest Contest Since 1905 - M'Goldrick is Victor - Fusion to Have 12 of 16 Board Votes - Morris Again Heads Council". New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ "2 Justices To Join Appellate Bench - Kleinfeld and Hallinan Will Succeed MacCrate and Schmidt, Retiring". New York Times. December 31, 1955. p. 5. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Philip Kleinfeld at Montefiore Cemetery". Montefiore Cemetery. Retrieved 25 July 2016.


  • Bio at New York Court History