In Memoriam: Jerry Libin, Park Foundation Trustee

Adapted from the Park Foundation’s tribute to Jerry Libin here. Read the full obituary here.

Jerry Libin, Park Foundation trustee and friend of the Park Scholarships program, died on February 2, 2024. Jerry was a mentor and role model to many and was revered by those who worked closely with him. His influence will continue to be deeply felt.

Adelaide Park Gomer, Park Foundation President, said, “The Park Foundation would never have been what it is without Jerome Libin… His vision and steadfast leadership will be missed every day by all of us at Park. We send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Jerry’s dear wife June and daughter Nancy. Jerry’s legacy at the Foundation will be indelible. He will forever be in our hearts and minds.”

“Jerry’s support was instrumental to the Park Scholarships program at NC State,” said Eva Feucht, director of the Park Scholarships. “He played a key role in the Park Foundation’s gift to begin an endowment for the program in 2013 and in the foundation’s grant support to NC State over the years. As Roy Park’s attorney, he worked diligently for decades after Mr. Park’s passing to build his living legacy. I was always grateful to hear him tell me that he felt Mr. Park would be proud of the Park Scholars. He was a thoughtful listener and consistently gave good guidance and encouragement as we worked together. I am so thankful for his partnership.” 

Born on October 27, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois, Jerry graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Jerry was a law clerk to Associate Justice Charles E. Whittaker of the Supreme Court of the United States. He then joined Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan (now Eversheds Sutherland) in Washington, DC, where he advised clients on domestic and international taxation and was an expert on the U.S. constitutional limitations on state taxation. He was pivotal in developing the firm’s tax practice, which he led for decades.

Jerry was widely regarded as one of America’s preeminent tax lawyers. His former colleague Professor Herb Beller of Northwestern University Law School described him as “a true giant of the tax bar and the legal profession for more than sixty years” who “excelled in every aspect of lawyering, always applying his extraordinary analytic, writing, advocacy, creativity, and interpersonal skills to achieve the best possible results for clients and colleagues.”

Jerry was recognized both nationally and internationally for his numerous contributions in the tax field. He served from 2001 to 2005 as worldwide president of the International Fiscal Association (IFA). Founded in 1938 and with approximately 13,000 members from 118 countries, IFA is the largest professional organization in the world devoted exclusively to the study of international taxation in an increasingly global economy.

He contributed to the international tax proposals that became part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as a consultant to the American Law Institute International Tax Study Project. And he was an informal advisor to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

For the American Bar Association, he was a member of the Council of the Tax Section and served as chair of four Tax Section Committees and Task Forces. He was a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and Master of the Bench of the J. Edgar Murdock American Inn of Court.

Jerry was always involved in his community. He served as vice president and trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society (for 25 years); honorary lifetime trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; trustee of the Park Foundation, WETA, Tudor Place and the Washington Performing Arts Society; and as a board member and officer of the Citizens Association of Georgetown.

Despite the demands of his professional and pro bono work, Jerry somehow found time to help people as much as causes. He was an inspiration and mentor to countless lawyers, friends and colleagues who remembered him as “a true gentleman” with a “quick wit” who “always treated everyone with respect and kindness and was always encouraging, professionally and personally, even when he was already miles ahead.” 

And most important, he was a devoted husband to June, his wife of 59 years, and father to his daughter Nancy, both of Washington, DC.