Burt received the 2008 Roll of Honor Award. He served several terms on the FTRF board, including a number of terms as vice president. He served with Robert P. Doyle as co-chair of the FTRF 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee.
In addition to his work in private practice with his firm, Joseph, Lichtenstein & Levinson, Burt served as counsel to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and special counsel to Playboy Enterprises. He was also an active member and former chair of the Media Coalition, a First Amendment trade organization of which FTRF is a member; a cooperating attorney with the ACLU; and a founder of Chicago’s Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
Burt passed away in 2010.
Thank you, Burton Joseph, for decades of service to the Freedom to Read Foundation. As a member of the Board of Trustees for multiple terms, including several years as Vice President, your work has been invaluable to the continued success and growth of the organization. Your vision, legal acumen, and wit continue to be tremendous assets to the Foundation.
Thank you, Burt, for your unparalleled contributions to libraries as a First Amendment attorney. Your successes have helped lay the groundwork for much of the free expression doctrine we now take for granted. From your volunteer service in the historic defense of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in the 1960s to your participation in the ALA lawsuit that overturned the Communications Decency Act, your name has been synonymous with the freedom to read. Your work has helped libraries remain centers of intellectual inquiry and open access to information, and for that we are forever grateful.
Thank you, Burt, for your work with so many Freedom to Read Foundation allies. Your leadership of the Media Coalition has helped paved the way for the Foundation to participate in landmark litigation securing our right to read. As legal counsel to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, you are on the cutting edge of an area of First Amendment law of growing importance to libraries, as graphic novels become integral parts of their collections. Your efforts have made librarians more secure in fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
Thank you, Burton Joseph, for your inspiration, insight, and intelligence. They have fueled your passion for free speech, your legendary legal career, and your ongoing dedication to the Freedom to Read Foundation. It is our privilege to add you to the Roll of Honor.
Judith Platt, President Judith F. Krug, Executive Director