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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

VAN AKEN, WILLIAM RUSSELL - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

VAN AKEN, WILLIAM RUSSELL (1 Dec. 1912-28 Sept. 1993) was a lawyer and politician, president and trustee of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, co-founder of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, and author of books on Real Estate law and the history of the Ohio Bar.

Born in Cleveland to Florence (Swallow) and WILLIAM J. VAN AKEN†, former mayor and head of one of Shaker Heights' most influential political families, William graduated from Shaker Heights High School (1930), and received his B.S. from LaFayette College (1934), and his LL.B. from WESTERN RESERVE UNIV. Law College (1937). He passed the Ohio Bar in 1937 and opened the law office of Van Aken & Bond from which he retired in 1987.

Van Aken, a conservative, served in the Ohio House of Representative (1943- 1944, 1947-1948), Shaker Heights City Council (1951-1955), and on the Ohio Republican Party central and executive committees. He was also general counsel for the Cleveland Real Estate Board (1964) and president of his father's real estate company.

As a 50-year member of the Ohio Bar Association, Van Aken held several positions in the Association before becoming president (1958-1959). He was co-founder of the National Conference of Bar Foundations.

Van Aken wrote two books, Ohio Real Estate Law and Practice with Robert Hauser, and Buckeye Barristers, a history of the Ohio Bar Association's first 100 years.

Van Aken married Dorothy Harrison on 27 April 1940. They had four children, Nancy, Mary Alice, Louise and William. Van Aken belonged to the Church of the Western Reserve. He is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 23 Jul 1997 09:44:03 AM

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