Legendary Arkansas law professor Witte dies at 92

University of Arkansas Professor Emeritus Albert Matthew Francis Witte died Dec. 23 at age 92.

Witte, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, came to the University of Arkansas in 1957. Before that, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for serving as a bombardier on 35 missions over Europe during World War II. Witte then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Chicago.

From there, Witte graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Law and practiced for a time at a law firm in Milwaukee. He held teaching posts at Ripon College and Emory University before taking up his position at the University of Arkansas, where he taught for the rest of his distinguished career. Witte officially retired from the university in 1994, but continued teaching classes right up until the fall semester of 2015.

Witte also served as counselor to both Bill and Hillary Clinton when they joined the law faculty at the university in the 1970s.

A fan of Razorback athletics, he was also involved with the NCAA as faculty athletics' representative for two decades. 

“Al Witte will be missed by all of us, students, faculty, staff, graduates and the legal community as a whole,” Dean Stacy Leeds said. “He taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law for nearly six decades – that’s almost two-thirds of the school’s 91-year existence. He has shaped generations of graduates through his intellect, insight and legendary quick wit.”

A memorial service is planned for Thursday at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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