George Cooper is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. He served as a Professor of Law at Columbia University from 1966 to 1985, and was also a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He specialized in Taxation and Civil Rights. Mr. Cooper was the founder of the Clinical Law Program at Columbia, and shared in developing Employment Rights and Immigration Law Clinics there. He was also active in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s, working on race and sex discrimination cases both in the South and in New York. He spent 1979 in South Africa, where he helped with the establishment of the Legal Resources Centre, an anti-apartheid legal aid program.

Mr. Cooper is the author of numerous articles in the Columbia and Harvard Law Reviews and other legal journals. His senior law school thesis “Negative Basis” earned the unusual honor of publication as a feature article in the Harvard Law Review, and his article Seniority and Testing Under Fair Employment Law: A General Approach to Objective Criteria of Hiring and Promotion (co-written with Richard Sobol) has been recognized as a “Citation Classic” because of its influence in the literature. His scholarly work in the field of taxation emphasized tax reform and combating abuse. Among his publications are: A Voluntary Tax? (1979), Taking Wealth Taxation Seriously (the 1978 Mortimer H. Hess Memorial Lecture of the New York City Bar Association), and The Taming of the Shrewd: Identifying and Controlling Income Tax Avoidance (1985). He was co-author and supervising editor of the textbooks Law and Poverty (1973) and Fair Employment Litigation (1975). A member of the D.C. and New York Bars, he has argued (unsuccessfully) in the U.S Supreme Court.

A wanderer at heart, Mr. Cooper holds a Certificate in Celestial Navigation from the Hayden Planetarium and has navigated small boats across big oceans, sometimes solo.

For several years he turned to writing about historic true crimes for a general audience, researching archives and court records. See entries for Lost Love and Poison Widows.

For the last twenty years he has devoted himself to non-profit arts projects. He was deeply involved in establishing the Tropic Cinema, a four-screen arts cinema in Key West, Florida, for which he served as founding Chairman, Treasurer and general overseer. In 2016, with his wife Judy Blume, he helped found Books&Books at The Studios, a non-profit, independent bookstore housed in an arts complex in Key West’s historic Old Town. He spends most of his time working at the store, but hopes to return to writing in the near future. Mr. Cooper lives in Key West with his wife.

Contact him at george@tashmoo.com

Other Works

  • Poison Widows: A True Story of Witchcraft, Arsenic, and Murder