Luis Kutner Papers

Institution: Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 642-4600
Date: 1916-1981
Extent: 59.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid: Paper finding aid available. Contact the holding institution for more information.

Biographical/Historical Note:
Luis Kutner was as a notable human rights lawyer. He obtained his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1927, was admitted to law practice in 1930 and began law practice in Chicago. Kutner was co-founder of Amnesty International (in 1961) and founder of World Habeas Corpus, an organization created to fight for international policies which would protect individuals against unwarranted imprisonment. Kutner died on March 12, 1993 in Chicago.

Scope and Content Note:
Collection is comprised of correspondence, Kutner's published and unpublished writings, newsclippings, legal and financial papers, and tape recorded radio broadcast interviews with Kutner related to his career as a lawyer, author, promoter, and musician. Subjects include international law, civil liberties, show business, publishing, creative writing, criminals, Chicago and national politics, education, racism, religion, and old age. Of particular interest is case documentation regarding Kutner's "“…freeing James Montgomery, a black man falsely accused in 1923 of raping a white woman in Waukegan, IL, after Montgomery had served 26 years in prison. Background materials include information on the power and influence of the KKK in Waukegan in the 1920s.”

Related Material: None