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Simon Sterne Edit Profile


Simon Sterne, American lawyer. Member Academy Political Science.


Sterne, Simon was born on July 23, 1839 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Henry and Regina Sterne.


Educated public schools, Philadelphia, and short term at University of Heidelberg. Graduate law department University of Pennsylvania, 1859.


He was admitted to the bar of New York in 1860, and established himself in practice in New York City. He represented many corporate interests, and paid special attention to real estate and constitutional law. Taking an active part in the movement for the purification of municipal politics, he was chosen secretary of the Committee of Seventy in 1870, and drafted the charter that was advocated by that committee.

In 1876 he was appointed by Governor Samuel J. Tilden on a commission to devise a plan for the government of cities, in 1879 acted as counsel for the New York Board of Trade and Transportation and Chamber of Commerce in the investigation of abuses in railroad management, which resulted in the appointment of a board of railroad commissioners for the state of New York. He was also a leader in the movement that resulted in the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, drafting the interstate commerce bill in conjunction with the committee of the United States Senate. In 1885 he was appointed by President Cleveland a commissioner to examine and report on the relations between the railroads and the governments of western Europe.

An essay that he read before the American Bar Association on “Slip-shod Legislation” led to the appointment in 1888 of a committee of the legislature to consider reforms in the drafting of laws.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Representative Government, 1871. Development of Political and Constitutional History of the United States, 1882, 1894. Report to President Cleveland on the Relation of the Government of the Nations of Western Europe to the Railways, 1887.


In 1862, he was elected lecturer on political economy in Cooper Union. He was on the staff of the Commercial Advertiser from 1863 to 1864, was a founder of the American Free-trade League in 1864, and in 1865 published the Social Science Review.


Member Academy Political Science.


Married Mathilde Elsberg, 1870.

Henry Sterne

Regina Sterne

Mathilde Elsberg