As 2014 drew to a close, we said goodbye to a beloved global citizen. Walter F. Hoffmann, prominent civil rights attorney and tireless advocate for world peace, died at age 90 on Wednesday, December 31.
Passionate for UN reform, Walter was a member of World Peace Through Law, founder of the Campaign For UN Reform, the Center for UN Reform Education, and Executive Director of the World Federalist Association in Washington, DC. In 1993, he was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations.
Born in Newark, Walter grew up in Glen Ridge and spent most of his adult life in Wayne, NJ. Walter was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Glen Ridge High School in 1942, and served with the Marine Corp in the Pacific in World War II. He was stationed on Tinian Island as a member of the 18th Anti-Aircraft Battalion when the Enola Gay took off from Tinian for Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
Walter graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1951, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He was a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board and a staff attorney for the US House Ways and Means subcommittee investigating the administration of the IRS. He then returned to New Jersey and was a founding partner of Hoffmann, Humphreys & Lafer, in Wayne.
As a civil rights attorney in the 1960s, he successfully challenged residential covenants in NJ communities that excluded homeowners based on race and religion.
Walter served as Adjunct College Professor at William Patterson and Ramapo Colleges, teaching courses in Government and Political science.