A Tribute to Lorraine Gerson '71, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Lorraine Gerson, an assistant U.S. attorney in Newark who was the nation’s oldest-serving federal prosecutor, died Monday at age 89.
Gerson, who handled financial crimes and fraud cases for four decades at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, kept on working far past the age when most other people retire. Although she took leave late in 2018 to battle cancer, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Gerson prosecuted more defendants for the year than most other assistant U.S. attorneys in the office.
“Lorraine just had a passion for the work. Many of us had a chance to see her in the last few days before she passed, and she was still talking about cases. She really cared about achieving justice for victims,” Carpenito said.
Gerson was in her early 40s when she graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1971. She grew up in Harlem and the Bronx, where she did not learn to read until the fourth grade. She attended Brooklyn College, and worked nights for Bloomingdale’s, rising from saleswoman to buyer, before marrying and having three children. She decided to attend law school when her youngest child started school.
Lorraine Gerson was the heart of this office and the keeper of our memories. For 40 years, she represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Seton Hall Law with honor and distinction. She embodied everything that a person, lawyer and a Seton Hall alum should be. The women and men of this office will work hard each day to honor her memory and tradition of hard work and excellence.
Craig Carpenito '00
United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
Lorraine Gerson was gallant and beautiful and fierce. Going to law school in one's forties and being chosen to join the state and then federal prosecutor's office back in the 1970's? That was no walk in the park. Good for Seton Hall Law School that it can say Lorraine is an alum. She graced the District of New Jersey with a peerless dedication to her work and her colleagues and never lost the ability to light up a room with her style and her charm. Long life be damned: no one was ready to lose Lorraine.
Judge Katherine S. Hayden '75
United States District Judge
District of New Jersey