Williams, Edward Bennett

Williams, Edward Bennett

(1920–88) lawyer, sports executive; born in Hartford, Conn. After practice with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hogan & Hartson (1945–49), he opened his own office to focus on cases involving civil liberties and constitutional guarantees. Starting in the 1950s, he was often vilified for defending such controversial clients as Senator Joseph McCarthy, gambler Frank Costello, industrialist Bernard Goldfine, Teamster boss James R. Hoffa, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Robert G. “Bobby” Baker, secretary to the senate Democrats. Bennett's exuberant self-confidence was justified by his patience, persistence, and accomplishments as a legal artist and power broker. He was owner of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and president of the Washington Redskins football team (1965–85). He wrote One Man's Freedom (1962) and You in Trial Law (1963).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.