Statement by D.A. Vance on the Passing of Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau

July 22, 2019

“During his legendary 35-year career as Manhattan District Attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau’s unimpeachable integrity, unflinching courage, unyielding independence, and fierce devotion to equal justice under the law set the gold standard for distinguished public service across the nation. His incredible tenure as District Attorney, stretching from 1975 to 2009, sparked a paradigm shift among his prosecutorial peers that emphasized proactive strategies, diverse hires, and increased community engagement. His crime-fighting strategies also played an important role in facilitating New York City’s remarkable decline in homicides and violent crime – and its current status as America’s safest big city.
“Morgenthau’s extraordinary record of achievements, longevity, and commitment to prosecuting without fear or favor made him the most respected prosecutor of his generation and a hallowed figure among the 2,000 prosecutors he hired. ‘The Boss,’ as he was known by staff, was also revered for the genuine interest he took in people’s lives. His guidance launched the careers of a remarkable number of highly influential public servants, including governors, attorney generals, judges, district attorneys, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As such, his impact will live on for generations not only at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office but throughout the American legal system. He will be deeply missed by all of us who had the honor and privilege of knowing him.”