In Remembrance: Peter K. Leisure ’52 Died on September 17 2013

Peter K. Leisure, a federal judge in Manhattan, New York, who in 26 years on the bench oversaw high-profile business disputes, trials of Mafia chieftains and political controversies, died on September 17, 2013, at the age of 84.

In 1986, Judge Leisure handled the antitrust jury trial pitting the upstart United States Football League against the National Football League. He also presided over the 1993 racketeering and drug trial that led to the convictions of three members of the Gambino crime family.

Among Judge Leisure’s more controversial decisions was one related to the McCarthy era. In 1999, over strong objections from the federal government, he ordered the release of secret grand jury testimony in the investigation of Alger Hiss, who had been accused of being a Soviet spy and had been convicted of lying to a Congressional committee. "The court is confident that disclosure will fill in important gaps in the existing historical record," Judge Leisure wrote. "The materials should languish on archival shelves, behind locked doors, no longer."

The New York Times published an article in his memory on September 20, 2013.

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