Anthony Lewis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning legal journalist and longtime seasonal resident of West Tisbury, died Monday, March 25. He was 85.
As a reporter and later columnist for the New York Times, Mr. Lewis was a staunch defender of free speech and a keen observer of the nation’s legal system. He is credited with transforming coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, for which he received his second Pulitzer Prize in 1963.
“Tony Lewis was a giant in his field and was a wonderful person. He is one of my heroes,” said Edgartown attorney Ronald Rappaport, who has known Mr. Lewis for many years.
A graduate of Harvard College, he was married twice, first in 1951 to Linda Lewis. In 1984 he married Margaret Marshall, who is retired as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Mr. Lewis won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1955 as a reporter for the Washington Daily News for a series of articles that was considered responsible for clearing the name of a Navy employee who had been dismissed as a security risk.
For many years, Mr. Lewis served as a lecturer in law at the Harvard Law School. He also was the author of three books: Gideon’s Trumpet, about a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case; Portrait of a Decade, about the great changes in American race relations; and Make No Law: the Sullivan Case and the First Amendment.
In 1962, after several years of renting, he bought a house overlooking Deep Bottom Cove on Tisbury Great Pond from Henry Hotchkiss, where he continued to spend as much time as possible.