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Samuel Dash

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Samuel Dash, the former chief counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Watergate, died on May 29 of heart failure. He was 79.
Dash studied at Temple University, but was forced to delay graduation in order to serve with the Army Air Corps in World War II. After he returned to the states, the New Jersey native completed his undergraduate work and received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Over the course of his prestigious legal career, Dash cultivated a reputation for political independence. The ardent advocate for legal ethics taught criminal justice, constitutional law and professional responsibility courses at Georgetown University Law Center for nearly four decades, and directed the school’s Institute for Criminal Law and Procedures.
A lifelong privacy activist, Dash conducted the first nationwide investigation of wiretapping in 1957. He wrote several books that examined Fourth Amendment issues, including “The Intruders: Unreasonable Searches and Seizures From King John to John Ashcroft,” which was released this spring.
In 1973, the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities investigated the break-in at the Democratic campaign headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. As the committee’s chief counsel, Dash questioned White House officials during the televised hearings about President Richard M. Nixon’s secret White House taping system. The scandal eventually led to President Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.
After Watergate, Dash helped draft the independent counsel law to assure impartial investigation of issues involving the executive branch. He also served on numerous governmental inquiries, including stints as a special investigator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as a special counsel to the president of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
Dash returned to the public arena in 1994 when he agreed to serve as the ethics adviser to independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton. He resigned four years later, when Starr testified before the House Judiciary Committee and advocated that President Clinton be impeached.
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Phil Gersh

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During his 60 years in show business, Hollywood agent Phil Gersh represented dozens of actors and directors. Humphrey Bogart, Lloyd Bridges, Harrison Ford, Karl Malden and Robert Wise all depended on his ability to find the perfect role or movie project and seal the deal with the studios.
“He was a terrific negotiator. He was a good friend, very loyal. You could depend on him … He was part of Hollywood when Hollywood was romantic; it’s not romantic today, it’s all business,” said William A. Fraker, a six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer.
Born in New York City to Russian immigrants, Gersh moved to California after his sister married Paramount executive and agent Sam Jaffe. He attended UCLA and worked in the Paramount prop department before joining Jaffe’s agency as an errand boy. There Gersh worked his way up the ranks, and soon became an agent representing up-and-coming directors.
Gersh served in the U.S. Army, fighting in Italy and North Africa during World War II. When he returned to the states, he spent four years as an agent with the Famous Artists Agency, then went into the business for himself. Over the next five decades, The Phil Gersh Agency became a driving force in Hollywood.
Gersh’s son Bob joined the Beverly Hills talent agency in the late 1970s, and represented actors like Michael J. Fox, Dennis Quaid and Cindy Williams. His son David opened the firm’s New York office in 1992 and expanded its literary department. The family business was renamed in the early 1990s to The Gersh Agency.
Gersh died on May 10 of natural causes. He was 92.

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