Russell Weintraub

December 20, 1929December 13, 2012

Russell J. Weintraub, 82, died at home on December 13, 2012, surrounded by his loving family, including Zelda, his wife of 60 years, his children: daughter Sharon, sons David and Steven, and daughters-in-law, Rachel and Tina. Russell adored his four grandsons Elon, Daniel, Noam, and Aaron. He will rest next to his granddaughter Shoshana, who died in 2006. Russell’s greatest wish was to be remembered for his great love for his family.

Born on December 20, 1929, Russell earned his B.A. at NYU in 1950 and his J.D. at Harvard in 1953. He enjoyed a long successful career as a professor of conflicts of laws, contracts, international and business law. After serving in the army during the Korean War, he became a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School. In 1957, he moved to Iowa Law School as full professor and in 1965 began teaching at The University of Texas Law School, holding successively the Connelly and Powel Chairs. Russell also held teaching positions at other universities in the U.S. and abroad.

He authored eight major textbooks through multiple editions and over 120 scholarly articles and reviews. His work on the conflicts of laws changed the understanding of that field. Russell consulted with many legislative entities, including the Parliament of the European Union, the U.S State Department, and the American Law Institute Committees. He received many professional honors, including Hague Lecturer on Private International Law and Hague Academy of International Law , Ronald Graveson Memorial Lecturer, and The University of Texas Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence. Russell was an elected life member of American Law Institute. Despite these many honors, Russell found the most joy and satisfaction as a teacher and was proudest of his many teaching excellence awards. His students and colleagues remember him as a modest man, who taught with wit and humor

The family would like to thank Doris Dixon for caring for Russell in the last years and Hospice Austin for their support in the last days.

Graveside Services will be held at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, 2800 Hancock Drive, Austin, Texas on Sunday, the 16th of December, 2012, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon with Rabbi Neil Blumofe officiating.

Memorial gifts may be made toward the establishment of the Zelda K. and Russell J. Weintraub Chair in Conflict of Laws and International Law through the UT Law School Foundation, 727 East Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78705.


  • Graveside Service Sunday, December 16, 2012

Russell Weintraub

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Robert Thomas

April 17, 2014

Mr. Weintraub was such a great teacher, and was always available after class in his office to discuss the law. In class, when we would all think we knew what the answer was, he would say "Au Contraire!" and tell us why we were wrong!

Victoria Pittman-Waller

April 9, 2014

He was an icon in 1991 when he taught contracts to another band of first year law students. We were riveted by his oration and the way he brought law to life. He made us laugh and cry in revelation and frustration but most of all he made us think! We struggled and we were inspired by his Socratic teaching.

Don Barlow

March 18, 2014

One of my favorite teachers and will always feel honored I was in his class. A great loss to the law school and the legal community.

Weston Binford

March 18, 2014

Professor Weintraub was a great professor and a fine man and a credit to his profession and an inspiration to his students. My sympathy to his family and congratulations on a life lived well.

December 21, 2013

Great professor. Was lucky to have Professor Weintraub for Contracts in 1968. Bill Bailey

Antoine Devine

December 20, 2013

Professor Weintraub was my favorite teacher, and contracts my favorite subject. I spent many afternoons in his office talking about the practice of law. My best memory is meeting him and Zelda in San Francisco 10 years later, where she gave me an inside view of the man I admired so much. Rest well, Professor.

Kim Jarrett

December 20, 2013

I often still hear Professor Weintraub saying about the heart of some court's decision, "We don't do windows, we don't do floors, and we don't do that." I look back now and see that I was a black woman in a small conflicts of laws class of mostly white men. Professor Weintraub just never made me feel that way. He exuded uncommon integrity. He helped teach me how to think. May God hold him close and grant peace to his family!

Mark Hord

January 8, 2013

I was very saddened to learn of Professor Weintraub's passing today from the UT Law email newsletter. Of all the great professors I had at UT, he was the one I most respected and enjoyed.

I have thought of him many times in the 20+ years since my graduation; in fact in the last year I had intended to write him a letter to say hello and to tell him that I think of him often and fondly. I'm sorry that the best I can do now is to write this note here.

I sent the sad news to a number of my fellow classmates today, and one of them responded: "He was one of my all-time favorites. What a great, brilliant, funny professor he was! We were lucky to have him."

Hear, hear!

Nancy Truax

January 7, 2013

An outstanding professor and a kind, kind man; a man of great integrity. I have been grateful through the years for his teaching, and was so pleased to encounter him at an alumni event years after graduation; he hadn't changed one whit, he was timeless.

January 7, 2013

Professor Weintraub was my greatest inspiration as a law student at the University of Texas School of Law. As a practicing lawyer, I am continually reminded of lessons that he imparted in Contracts 101. He was an awesome figure in the classroom, and I was fortunate to have worked with him as an expert witness in one of my cases. The legal world has lost a leading light, and my deepest condolences go out to his family. --- Tom Finley