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Robert Sweet

Robert Workman Sweet Sr.

Sunday, October 15th, 1922 - Sunday, March 24th, 2019
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Adele Hall Sweet, of New York City and Ketchum, Idaho, died at home on December 21, 2018 of complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease. She was 93. She was the daughter of Dorothy Schiff, former publisher of The New York Post, and Richard B. W. Hall, and a great-granddaughter of financier Jacob Schiff. Her husband, Robert W. Sweet, is a former deputy mayor of New York and a senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mrs Sweet was educated at the Brearley and Dalton Schools, Wellesley and Sarah Lawrence. She joined her mother at the New York Post as assistant publisher and later headed the Dorothy Schiff Foundation, supporting scientific, environmental and educational causes. Long active in Democratic politics in California and New York, she was a gifted painter, prolific needle pointer and gold-level ice dancer. Mrs. Sweet was survived by Judge Sweet, her beloved husband of 45 years, and her six children: Michael Gray, Kathleen Gray, John Gray, Wendy Gray, Fredric Leopold and Tess Leopold, 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She also leaves four step-children: Robert Sweet Jr., Deborah Given, Ames Sweet and Eliza Sweet, as well as seven step-grandchildren and four step- great- grandchildren. Friends may visit www.woodriverchapel.com to leave condolences

Unites States District Judge Robert W. Sweet died peacefully of natural causes on March 24, 2019 in Ketchum, Idaho, at the age of 96. Mr. Sweet was born in Yonkers, New York, the only child of James Allen Sweet and Delia Workman Sweet. He attended the Horace Mann School and The Taft School, where he later served as a Trustee. Judge Sweet received his B.A. from Yale College, graduating early in 1944 in order to join the United States Navy. As a 22-year old Lieutenant , j.g., he commanded a submarine chaser in the Atlantic. When World War II ended, he returned to Yale for his law degree. He subsequently served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and later joined the firm of Casey, Lane & Mittendorf in New York City. In 1948, Mr. Sweet married the former Lois Clapp. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1970. Their four children survive him. In 1958, Mr. Sweet managed the maiden Congressional campaign of his law school classmate John V. Lindsay. When Mr. Lindsay was elected Mayor of New York in 1965, Mr. Sweet joined his administration, eventually serving as Deputy Mayor of the City of New York from 1966 to 1969. Upon leaving the Lindsay administration, Mr. Sweet became a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meaghan and Flom, LLP. In 1978, Mr. Sweet was appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter, a post he held until his death. In his distinguished career as a jurist, Judge Sweet presided over many difficult and controversial cases, including a 1992 case in which he declared that panhandling was a constitutionally protected form of free speech and a 2010 case in which he held that genetic sequences found in nature were not patentable subject matter. Judge Sweet was an early advocate for the legalization of drugs, and was deeply dismayed by the advent of sentencing laws that mandated long prison terms for low-level drug offenders. In 1970, Mr. Sweet was introduced to the former Adele Hall, daughter of Dorothy Schiff, then the publisher of the New York Post, and after a whirlwind courtship, they married in 1973. Adele and Bob were a formidable team. They traveled the world, skiied and ice skated together, and presided over an ever-widening circle of family, former law clerks and friends in New York City, Quaker Hill, NY and Sun Valley, Idaho. When Judge Sweet was invited by the U. S. State Department to lead missions to promote the rule of law in Albania and China, Mrs. Sweet traveled with him to advocate for the role of the free press. They were devoted partners until Adele’s death from Alzheimer’s disease on December 21, 2018. Judge Sweet leaves a legacy as a distinguished lawyer, public servant and jurist, a valued mentor and advisor, a loyal friend, an inveterate writer of letters, rememberer of birthdays and giver of toasts, an avid sailor and frustrated fly fisherman, and most of all as a loving husband, caregiver and father. Judge Sweet is survived by his children, Robert W. Sweet, Jr., Deborah Given, Ames K. Sweet and Eliza H. Sweet, his grandchildren Noah and Mackenzie Sweet, Emily and Beth Given and Caitlin SweetLamb and Annalee and Olivia Sweet, his great grandchildren Nora Berge and Lily Sweet and Annabel and Elliot SweetLamb, and his six stepchildren and many grandchildren and great grandchildren from Adele’s prior marriages. A memorial service will be held at The Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City on May 10, 2019. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association. Friends may visit www.woodriverchapel.com to leave condolences
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A Memorial Service will be held May 10, 2019 at The Church of the Heavenly Rest New York City, New York


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