David G. Lubell


David G. Lubell, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, died on May 11 after a long illness.

David was deeply devoted to his three daughters, three sons-in-law, eight adored grandchildren, and one “little cutey,” great-granddaughter. The love of his life was his wife, Doris. The couple would have celebrated their fifty-ninth wedding anniversary on June 12.

David was born on November 9, 1929, ten minutes before his identical twin brother, Jonathan. The twins grew up in the Bronx with their parents, Moe and Julia, and their older brother, Bennett. David graduated from Dewitt Clinton High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, and graduated from Harvard Law School Magna Cum Laude in 1954.

David developed a passion for making our world a better place. His untiring advocacy for human rights and social justice began in High School and sustained and inspired him throughout his lifetime. Blacklisted during the McCarthy era while still at Harvard, David Lubell famously invoked the fifth amendment of the U.S. constitution when called before the Jenner committee.

Throughout the next several decades David Lubell was a leading civil rights and civil liberties lawyer. He represented numerous individuals and organizations dedicated to social change and the expansion of human rights in the United States and throughout the world. During many of these years David was also a visiting professor of law in the Advanced Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School.

David Lubell came to be recognized as one of the most influential entertainment and media lawyers in the United States. He was dedicated to supporting and mentoring socially active independent filmmakers and other struggling professionals in the creative arts. David also represented many prominent personalities as an expert in entertainment law and intellectual property rights. His professional and personal commitment to all his clients arose from his genuine warmth and connection to and concern for humanity.

David’s passion for humanity was rooted in his unconditional love for his family. He treasured spending time with his daughters and their families as his grandchildren grew into young adults. From fishing trips, to educational activities, to toasting his loved ones and encouraging stimulating conversation at family dinners, “Grandpa” was always there. His unique sense of humor was thoroughly appreciated by all generations from the youngest to his cherished Doris. David was completely enamored by and supportive of Doris’ talent and career as a recognized artist and art therapist. Museum visits, long walks in Central Park, and later, hikes on Martha’s Vineyard’s beaches and meadows, were integral to the life the couple valued. David was also an avid sports fan and had a special place in his heart for the NY Yankees. His devotion and loyalty to his family were constant sources of strength and comfort to all.

David Lubell’s last few years on MV were marked by his joy as he increasingly noticed and experienced the wonders of nature. He embraced the intricate beauty of trees and flowers, the raucous sounds of the pinkletinks, the cheerful chirps of the birds, and the transient designs of the clouds in the sky. During his long illness, the very essence of David’s loving spirit continued to inspire and enrich caregivers, friends, and family. In his last weeks, David’s eyes shone with the light of love.

David leaves behind his beloved wife Doris Lubell of Edgartown, daughter Donna Underwood and her husband, John, of Marathon, Florida; daughter Lisa Lubell and her husband, Robert Doughtie, of Bronx, New York; daughter Claudia Ewing and her husband, Steve, of Edgartown; and grandchildren Zara Price, Jed, Michael, and Solomon Underwood, Peter and Malika Lubell-Doughtie, and Niko and Arno Ewing; and great granddaughter, Haley Price. He is also survived by his twin brother, Jonathan and his wife, Dee; his sister-in-law, Diana Baumrind; seven nieces; and many dear friends. David was predeceased by his parents and brother Bennett and his wife, Esther.

Donations in David Lubell’s memory can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living at P.O. Box 1729, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 and the Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Law Scholarship Program (NYU Law School), 110 West 3rd St., 2nd floor, NY, NY 10012 c/o Betsy Brown.

A private memorial service is planned for late August on Martha’s Vineyard.