Edward H. Levi served as the first Provost of the University of Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1932, his J.D. from the Law School in 1935, and went on to earn his JSD from Yale Law School in 1938, where he was also a Sterling Fellow. He joined the University faculty in 1936 as Assistant Professor of Law. Levi continued to teach in the Law School until World War II, when he was appointed special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States. He returned to the University in 1945 and was appointed Dean of the University’s Law School in 1950 and continued in this role until 1962, when he was appointed Provost of the University.
In 1968, Levi was appointed President of the University of Chicago and served in this position until 1975 when President Gerald R. Ford appointed him the 71st Attorney General of the United States. Levi was the first Jewish person to hold this position. After completing his term, Levi returned to the University and continued teaching at the Law School and the College. He went on to become a trustee of the University and the MacArthur Foundation before passing away on March 7, 2000. The Justice Department commemorated the 30th anniversary of his appointment in 2005 by creating the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity.