Nuremberg Colleague, Nephew Helped Create Jackson Center

No speech would have been given Friday by Chief Justice John Roberts without the dedicated work of Henry T. King Jr. and Harold Jackson Adams.

King was a Nuremberg prosecutor, and Adams was Jackson’s nephew. Both men played intricate roles in helping to create the Robert H. Jackson Center.

King was born May 27, 1919, in Meriden, Conn., and he died May 9, 2009, in Cleveland, Ohio. After practicing law for several years with the firm Milbank, Tweed & Hope, King became one of the United States prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials, serving from 1946-47. King’s family donated his personal library and papers to the Jackson Center.

King and Robert H. Jackson who, among many others in Nuremberg in 1945-46, began the process of international criminal justice. Known as the Nuremberg Principles, these guidelines allowed for the steady development of international criminal law that is still practiced today. For many months he worked quietly behind the scenes, developing the cases that would see the conviction of the top Nazi war criminals for international crimes.

Following his service at Nuremberg, King had a long career as counsel for several corporations. In the 1990s, King was a member of the American Bar Association Task Force on War Crimes in the former Yugoslavia. He subsequently influenced the charter of the International Criminal Court. When delegates from 131 nations established the criminal court in 1998, they did not initially include initiating wars of aggression as a war crime. With Whitney Harris and Benjamin Ferencz, two of the other prosecutors from Nuremberg, King traveled to the convention in Rome to successfully lobby for the court’s jurisdiction over the instigators of such wars.

King wrote more than 60 journal articles. From the mid-1980s until his death, King was a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he also served as the U.S. Director of the Canada-United States Law Institute. King was married for 50 years to the former Betty May Scranton. The couple had three children: Suzanne Wagner, Henry T. King III, who died in 1993, and Dave King, a novelist.

Adams was a founding member of the Jackson Center and was a tireless supporter of the Jackson Center. He was a member of the board of directors at the Jackson Center from its inception until his passing on Jan. 14, 2007.

Adams’ mother was Jackson’s sister. Adams was 79 when he died living in Falconer. He was a lifelong area resident who was born Aug. 28, 1927, in Frewsburg. He was the son of Percy and Helen Jackson Adams.

Adams was a 1945 graduate of Frewsburg High School and a 1950 graduate of Rider University. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed in Germany. He was at Nuremberg to witness the sentencing of Nazi war criminals who were prosecuted by Jackson. He was 19 at the time. He was present when the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg announced the verdicts of the 22 leading Nazis tried in 1945 and 1946 for their roles in the war. He was a private first class in the U.S Army 1st Infantry Division. He was stationed in Munich when his uncle sent for him to go to Nuremberg.

Adams’ experience and close connections to the Jackson family made him both an invaluable historical resource and a vital member of the Jackson Center’s board of directors.