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Ephraim London; Lawyer Specialized in Censorship Cases

June 15, 1990

Ephraim London, 78, a lawyer who specialized in constitutional law and successfully fought bans against films. London argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won all of them. The two that garnered the most attention involved films banned in New York--"The Miracle" in 1950 and "Lady Chatterley's Lover" in 1956. Other films whose bans were overturned by the high court after London argued for their showing were "The Lovers" in 1964 and "Language of Love" in 1971. London also represented authors and entertainers who were threatened with censorship. In 1964, he represented comedian Lenny Bruce, who had been arrested for allegedly using obscene material. Bruce was convicted by a three-judge panel in Manhattan but London won a reversal on appeal. He also was Lillian Hellman's attorney in her defamation suit against author Mary McCarthy which became moot after Hellman's death in 1984. On Tuesday in New York City of the complications of diabetes.

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