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Kunstler, William M. (William Moses)

b. 1919 - d. 1995

William Kunstler, born in New York, was a radical lawyer and defense attorney. A graduate of Yale and Columbia, he met Dr. King during the Freedom Rides, working for the American Civil Liberties Union to defend Freedom Riders challenging interstate bus segregation. King invited him to speak at the 1961 Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) annual convention. King and the SCLC referred cases to him. Kunstler served on the board of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights. He was famous for his willingness to serve controversial clients like Fr. Daniel Berrigan, Malcolm X and the Chicago Seven, charged with conspiracy to cause a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Kunstler wrote a memoir, Deep in My Heart, that includes a foreword by Dr. King.

Associated Archive Content : 11 results

"Attorney's Arrest is Protested"

This Washington Post article, entitled "Attorney's Arrest is Protested", talks about Arthur Kinoy's arrest and the complications that aroused as a result of it.

Lawyer Ejected By House Inquiry; Seven Walk Out

New York lawyer Arthur Kinoy was ejected from the hearing room of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington following a heated legal argument. Seven other lawyers withdrew from the proceedings following Mr. Kinoy's ejection.

Letter from Arthur Kinoy to MLK

In this letter, Mr. Kinoy informs Dr. King of an article in Rutgers' Law Review, that contains Kinoy's and Bill Kunstler's ideas in civil rights litigation. Kinoy is a law professor at Rutgers The State University.

Letter from Bill Kunstler to MLK

Famed civil rights attorney William Kunstler states that this was the first time a federal court enjoined prosecution of contempt cases under a state injunction. He would like to use the same procedures in Mississippi.

Letter from William Kunstler to Arthur Shores

Attorney William Kunstler writes to Arthur Shores about a legal case involving Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Letter from William M. Kunstler to MLK Regarding a Guest Appearance

Here William M. Kunstler (Bill) makes two separate requests: first that Dr. King appear on the Barry Gray radio program for an interview, and, second, to receive a brief tape from the reverend for an NAACP housing rally at the Rye-Port Chester Chapter.

Mail and Messages Note to MLK

This is a list of mail and messages for Dr. King dated 12/12/67. It includes a letter from his literary agent Joan Daves about a speech to be given at the University of Kansas, a publication from the Southern Regional Council, and phone calls about speaking engagements and media inquiries.

May 1963, Letter from William M. Kunstler to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. requesting television interview

William M. Kunstler "Bill" writes to inform Dr. King of the National Educational Television's interest in doing a series of programs on the American Negro. Henry Norgenthau would like to interview Dr. King for the series.

News from the Southern Conference Educational Fund

The Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. discusses the allegations and trials of Thomas Carlton Wansley.

People in Action: Most Abused Man in Nation

This article by Dr. King, published in his "People in Action" series in the New York Amsterdam News, describes the national and local reaction to the Birmingham jailing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and J. S. Phifer.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1961

This September 1961 SCLC newsletter opens with a description of the Annual Convention scheduled to take place later that month in Nashville, Tennessee. The next section includes brief biographies of Harry Belefonte and South African singer Miriam Makeba, both slated to star in the convention's opening benefit concert. This section also outlines the advances SCLC made in its Leadership Training Program and future plans for the Citizenship Program, dedicated to increasing literacy in southern states.