Murray H. Shusterman


Deceased December 5, 2016

“A person has many experiences over time, some good, some bad…,” said Murray H. Shusterman in an interview with just two years before his death. “The real secret is to be decent, to be fair, and to be forgiving. Don’t take yourself too seriously.” Shusterman was a real estate investor and lawyer in Philadelphia whose life, both at work and at home, coincided with Temple University and the Fox School of Business.

An immigrant, Shusterman was born in Ukraine in 1912. Later, his parents brought him to the U.S. His mother was a homemaker and his father manufactured embroidery. The elder Shusterman turned out reams of embellished dress cloth, dining room tablecloth, and made official Army insignia. The Philadelphia native graduated from Temple with honors and went on to become a member of the Law School’s first day-division class, where he edited the Temple Law Quarterly and graduated in 1936. “The circles in which my family moved, there were only two professions: doctor or lawyer,” said Shusterman in a conversation with Temple Law. “A lawyer was a Jewish boy who couldn’t stand the sight of blood.” Shusterman began his law career during the Great Depression—and work was hard to come by for the young attorney. “Even though I graduated with honors, I wouldn’t have thought for a second to apply to one of the big firms that didn’t hire Jews or African Americans,” said Shusterman in a 2013 interview with Temple Law. The City of Philadelphia, however, welcomed Shusterman, where he was hired as a deputy city solicitor serving as counsel for the Commission on Human Relations, and also for City Council. Shusterman also worked as vice president for the Philadelphia City Board of Health. With plenty of experience and a quickly-filling rolodex, Shusterman left the city for a career at Fox Rothschild, where he worked for nearly half a century. Shusterman’s areas of expertise included corporate law and real estate, and he parlayed that into teaching at Temple, where he taught a real estate law class for 30 years. In a 2013 interview with Temple Law, he marveled at how the law school demographics had changed: “In my first few classes I only had one female student, and when I finished teaching, half of my class was women.” Shusterman and his wife Judith aren’t the only Shusterman’s with Cherry and White blood. Other Temple graduates include their sons, Robert Shusterman Esq., Beasley ’73, Richard Shusterman, PhD, a former Temple philosophy professor, and a grandson, Noah Shusterman, PhD, who previously taught in the College of Liberal Arts. Philanthropy was important to the Shustermans, and they gave generously to Temple, with gifts that included $1 million to rename the renovated Murray H. Shusterman Hall, and $1.1 million to endow the Shusterman Professorship in Transactional and Business Law. The Shusterman name has also provided funding for numerous projects and spaces like a Temple Law endowment and faculty award, naming an Alter Hall classroom, and a fellowship for Temple-Israel law exchanges.

Temple University Degree
Honorary Degree ’96; Juris Doctor ’36, Beasley School of Law; Bachelor of Science ’33, Fox School of Business

Temple University Awards & Affiliatons

  • Honorary Life Trustee
  • Acres of Diamond Circle
  • Chairman’s Circle
  • Board of Visitors, Beasley School of Law
  • Elected Counsel, General Alumni Association, 2007
  • Alumni Distinguished Service, 1995
  • Certificate of Honor, General Alumni Association, 1982
  • Former Trustee
  • Former Alumni Association Board
  • Former Law Foundation Board
  • Former President, Law Alumni
  • Former President, Law Foundation
  • Wachman Society 30