Dr Jay S Goodman

Inducted: 2016
Born: 1940
Died: 2015
Dr. Jay Goodman was a brilliant scholar, an inspiring teacher, a meticulous attorney, and the intellectual power behind the throne for two generations of Rhode Island Democratic political leaders. Jay was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 16, 1940, the son of attorneys Harold and Minnie Goodman. Jay earned his bachelors degree in 1961 at Beloit College in Wisconsin and his masters degree from Stanford University. He then came east to Brown University, earning his doctorate in political science in 1966 under the mentorship of noted Professor, Elmer E. Cornwell, Jr. He completed his education with a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1978, graduating first in his evening school class. In 1965, while completing his doctoral dissertation on the role of labor in Rhode Island politics, he began to teach political science at Wheaton College in nearby Norton, Massachusetts. During a period of 50 years he taught over 10,000 students, guiding many to careers in government, law, and politics. He also served Wheaton in a number of administrative positions, especially as a pre-law student advisor. As an academic, Jay wrote 9 books and 27 scholarly essays plus a number of book reviews, many of them for the Rhode Island Bar Journal Jay was also a competent attorney with an expertise in constitutional and local government law. He served as research advisor to the 1964 and 1973 constitutional conventions and wrote four books on the constitution-making process. Jay also became a founding partner in a major law firm and later established his own law and lobbying practice. When Jay was not behind the scenes, he held several important public positions. He served as the volunteer head of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency during the Blizzard of 78; the chairman of the Providence Civic Center Authority from 1984 to 1992, and a member of the Capital Center Commission. Jays great but unseen in^uence, however, was as a major political and policy advisor to Rhode Island’s leading Democratic officeholders. The recipients of his governmental wisdom included (in order) U.S. Congressman Robert O. Tiernan, Governor Frank Licht, Lieutenant Governor Richard Licht, Governor J. Joseph Garrahy, Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Jay had their profound respect. Both by his advice and his appearance he was a political Einstein. Jay died on May 2, 2015 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife and colleague, Gail Berson, his son, Robert, and his step- daughter Jessica Weaver.
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