Robert Bradford Bourne of Summit, N.J., and New York city, died Oct. 24, 2019, after a short illness, at the Overlook Hospital in Summit where he was born.

He had been a longtime summer visitor on Chappaquiddick.

He was born in 1931 in Summit, where he lived and worked much of his life, as did his parents. His father Bob opened a law firm in Summit in 1936; mother Meredith was active in community affairs and instrumental in establishing the Summit Junior League.

After World War II the Bourne family moved to Bedminster, N.J., where Bob commuted to the Morristown School, graduating in 1949. He graduated from Harvard College in 1953 after majoring in history and literature and rowing varsity crew.

Prior to embarking on his legal career, he served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 through 1955.

After receiving his law degree in 1959, Bob clerked with Judge Dickinson Debevoise and served as an associate with Riker Emery & Danzig in Newark, N.J. He served as staff attorney and as acting chief of the administration of Justice Section at the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington during the Kennedy administration. Following in former Mayor Ed Koch’s footsteps, he was defense counsel to underprivileged black teenagers and helped register black voters during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. His work continued with the African-American community in the South and included membership for many years on the board of trustees of Atlanta University, along with his colleague Vernon Jordan.

In 1963, Bob moved back home to Summit and to his father’s law firm, Bourne, Schmid, Burke & Noll (now Bourne, Noll & Kenyon). He taught estate and tax planning at the Summit Area Community School and was an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law for many years. Active in his community, he served on many boards.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Carolann Clynes, of Summit; a brother Donald of Yarmouthport; a sister Judith Newbold of Keene, N.H.; children Jonathan, Christopher, Mark Kirkpatrick, Susan Laskaris, Sarah, Mary Harris; and nine grandchildren.

A celebration of life is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2020 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit at 11 a.m. For information or to leave the family a message of condolence, go to