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Herman Edelsberg Dead at 77

Funeral services were held Sunday for Herman Edelsberg, former director of international affairs for B’nai B’rith and a federal government official in the 1960’s. He died last Thursday of cardiorespiratory arrest at George Washington University Hospital. He was 77 years old.

A resident of Washington, Edelsberg was born in New York City and graduated from the College of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University.

Edelsberg was appointed director of B’nai B’rith’s International Council in 1967 and was responsible for directing and coordinating B’nai B’rith affiliates in 41 countries outside the United States in such programs as the elimination of racial and religious discrimination, enhancement of human rights, and the promotion of peaceful international relations.

He retired in 1977 and recently finished writing his memoirs, entitled “Not For Myself Alone,” which is to be published shortly by Link Press.

He served as executive director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and earlier he was director of the Washington office of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and worked closely with Congress on the 1957, 1969, and 1964 Civil Rights Acts.

In 1945-46, Edelsberg was counsel and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Trade and before that, counsel to the Senate Committee of War Contracts. An attorney by profession, he held important posts with the Foreign Economic Administration, the Board of Economic Warfare and the Office of Price Administration between 1941 and 1945.

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