Manhattan's legendary district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau who dedicated decades to fighting white-collar crime has passed away at the age of 99.
Morgenthau was an esteemed fixture in New York court for over four decades where he made history as the longest-serving district attorney and served as chief federal prosecutor for Southern New York State.
The prosecutor and WWII Navy veteran passed away on Sunday in Manhattan.
He passed away at Lenox Hill Hospital succumbing to a short illness, according to his wife Lucinda Franks.
He made his legacy on fighting kingpins, mobsters, greedy corporate leaders, and corrupt politicians.
Manhattan's longest-serving DA Robert M. Morgenthau passed on Sunday at the age of 99 after succumbing to a short illness at a Manhattan hospital, his family announced
Morgenthau was an esteemed fixture in New York court for over four decades where he made history as the longest-serving district attorney and served as chief federal prosecutor for Southern New York State. He hailed the Roosevelt's and Kennedy's as his friends - pictured above with President John F. Kennedy
He made his legacy on fighting kingpins, mobsters, greedy corporate leaders, and corrupt politicians. Pictured above second right with wife Lucinda along with actress Brenda King and actor Andrew Stein at a cocktail part in New York in June 1980
His devotion to fighting for justice inspired the Law & Order TV show character Adam Schiff, a fictional prosecutor played by actor Steve Hill. Law & Order creator Dick Wold praised Morgenthau as 'the greatest attorney in the history of New York'.
In his stellar career he oversaw some 3.5million cases as DA and was often seen reiterating his motto that justice be pursued 'without fear or favor'.
'The prosecutor’s job is to protect the public and to administer the laws,' he said on his job, stressing convictions should not be a prosecutor's goal.
Some of his most high-profile cases include the subway vigilante Bernard Goetz, the Central Park 'preppy killer' Robert Chambers, and John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman, and suggesting the exoneration of the Central Park Five.
He believed that 'crime in the suites' was just as important as 'crime in the streets'.
His cases went beyond New York borders too, cornering greedy companies and banks. In one case his investigation into the corrupt Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1991 exposed a massive criminal operation spanning 76 countries that laundered goods and money for Saddam Hussein, the Medellin drug cartel and terrorists, according to the New York Post.
In his various investigations he followed money trains in white-collar crimes to Paraguay, Iran, the Cayman Islands and Belgium.
Just two weeks before his retirement in 1991 he reached a stunning $536million settlement with Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, after it was revealed they helped Iranian, Libyan and Sudanese clients hide shady business in the US, according to the New York Times.
Robert Morgenthau and Donald Trump attend Police Athletic League Dinner Benefit on June 25, 1987 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City
Morgenthau is survived by his wife, Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and his seven children from his first and second marriage
His devotion to fighting for justice inspired the Law & Order TV show character Adam Schiff (center), a fictional prosecutor played by actor Steve Hill. Law & Order creator Dick Wold praised Morgenthau as 'the greatest attorney in the history of New York'
Born in July 31, 1919 in New York, he was raised in a family of wealth, prominence, and political connections hailing the Roosevelt's and the Kennedy's as family friends and spending New Years Eves at the White House.
His grandfather Henry