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Arthur Lehman Goodhart

Arthur Lehman Goodhart

American-born academic jurist and lawyer
Arthur Lehman Goodhart
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American-born academic jurist and lawyer
Was Lawyer Queen's Counsel
From United States of America
Type Law Royals
Gender male
Birth 1 March 1891, New York City, USA
Death 10 November 1978 (aged 87 years)
Star sign Pisces
Residence London, UK
Children: Philip GoodhartWilliam Goodhart, Baron GoodhartCharles GoodhartCharles Goodhart
Yale University
Trinity College
Hotchkiss School
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire  
Fellow of the British Academy  
The details (from wikipedia)


Arthur Lehman Goodhart KBE QC FBA (1 March 1891 in New York City – 10 November 1978 in Oxford) was an American-born academic jurist and lawyer; he was Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford, 1931–51, when he was also a Fellow of University College, Oxford. He was the first American to be the Master of an Oxford college, and was a significant benefactor to the College.

Early life and education

Arthur Goodhart was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the youngest of three children born to Harriet "Hattie" (née Lehman) and Philip Julius Goodhart. His siblings were Howard Goodhart and Helen Goodhart Altschul (married to Frank Altschul). His maternal grandfather was Mayer Lehman, one of three brothers who co-founded the investment banking firm Lehman Brothers. Goodhart was educated at the Hotchkiss School, Yale University and Trinity College, Cambridge. At Yale, he was an editor of campus humor magazine The Yale Record. After returning to the United States, he practised law until World War I. Following the war, he started to pursue an academic career in law, initially at Cambridge University and later at Oxford University where he became Professor of Jurisprudence and subsequently the Master of University College. He was editor of the Law Quarterly Review for fifty years.


Rejected for service with British forces in World War I, in 1914, Goodhart became a member of the U.S. forces when the U.S. joined the war in 1917; he became counsel to the U.S. mission to Poland, in 1919.

Goodhart was called to the bar by the Inner Temple 1919, and became a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and university lecturer in jurisprudence; he edited the Cambridge Law Journal, 1921–5, and the Law Quarterly Review, 1926. In 1931 he moved to Oxford to become professor of jurisprudence. He gave up that chair when he became Master of University College, Oxford, 1951–63. In 1952 he delivered the Hamlyn Lectures.

As a member of the Law Revision Committee, Goodhart helped to promote improvements in various branches of the law.

Personal life

Arthur Goodhart was married to Cecily Goodhart (née Carter) who was of English heritage. They had three children: Sir Philip Goodhart; William Goodhart, Lord Goodhart of Youlbury; and Charles Goodhart (after whom Goodhart's law is named).


Students during Goodhart's Mastership of University College included Bob Hawke, matriculated 1953, who was later Prime Minister of Australia.

The Goodhart Quad and the Goodhart Building (to the east, overlooking the quad and used for student accommodation) at University College, Oxford, off Logic Lane, are named in his memory. The largest lecture theatre in the Sir David Williams Building, which houses the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, is also named "The Arthur Goodhart Lecture Theatre" after him. Cecily's Court, a small open area containing a fountain, located between the Goodhart Building and 83–85 High Street, is named in memory of Goodhart's wife.

Honours and titles

  • 1938 Honorary bencher, Lincoln's Inn
  • 1943, King's Counsel
  • 1948, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
  • 1952, Fellow of the British Academy
  • He received honorary degrees from twenty universities
  • Honorary Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge


  • Concise Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Who was Who.
  • Flade, Roland (1999). The Lehmans: From Rimpar to the New World: A Family History (2nd enlarged ed.). Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann. ISBN 3-8260-1844-3.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 15 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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