Nearing his 100th birthday, former district attorney says it's too late to retire

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Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is nearing his 100th birthday, but he still continues to work at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Morgenthau told the New York Law Journal that it’s too late to retire.

“My grandfather used to say opportunity comes to everyone. The secret is to recognize it and not let it go by. I didn’t recognize the opportunity and let it go,” he told the New York Law Journal.

The opportunity to retire came “at age 65 or 70,” but he doesn’t regret passing it up. “It’s always been a pleasure for me to go to work,” he said.

Robert Morgenthau Robert Morgenthau at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Eight events are happening to celebrate Morgenthau’s birthday, including a June 17 celebration by the Manhattan District Attorneys’ Association. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who once worked as a prosecutor for Morgenthau, is expected to be there.

Others who worked for Morgenthau include Gov. Andrew Cuomo, John F. Kennedy Jr., Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cyrus Vance Jr.

Morgenthau supervised 3.5 million prosecutions between taking office in 1975 and leaving in 2009, the New York Times reported in 2016.

The New York Post reported in October that Morgenthau was advising on immigrant deportation cases through Wachtell Lipton and a law fellowship program that he helped found called the Immigrant Justice Corps.

Morgenthau told the New York Law Journal that he hopes to help young lawyers understand the plight of immigrants and the less fortunate.

“I remind them what immigrants did for New York and the nation and how important it is to welcome immigrants as part of our tradition and not turn them away,” he said.

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