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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CHASE, RUSSELL N. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CHASE, RUSSELL N. (18 Feb. 1900-24 April 1980) was a lawyer active in the defense of accused communists and in the affairs of the American Civil Liberties Union. A native Clevelander, the son of William and Edna Thomas Chase, he was a graduate of Asheville School for Boys in Asheville, N.C. After brief service in the Army during WORLD WAR I, he completed his undergraduate education at Cornell University and earned a law degree from the Western Reserve University School of Law (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) in 1925. Chase set up his own law practice in Cleveland c. 1927, handling for the most part estates and civil liberties cases. During the Spanish Civil War he was active in organizations sending aid to Loyalist Spain. He toured the Loyalist area in 1937, reporting his experiences in 2 articles printed in the CLEVELAND PRESS. By 1940 he was chairman of the ad hoc Cleveland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He was also executive secretary of the Cleveland Council of the American Peace Mobilization. Chase married Virginia Hatch Combs in 1942. Following WORLD WAR II he served as president of the Cleveland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which was cited as a subversive organization by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950. He defended Communists as well as persons accused of communist activities during the McCarthy era. A past president of the Cleveland Cornell Club, Chase died at his home in HUNTING VALLEY. He was survived by a daughter, Amanda Madar, and 5 stepsons.

Russell N. Chase Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 1997 11:54:41 AM

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