Bar foundation receives largest bequest ever from Lester E. Zittrain

On March 14, 2003, the Allegheny County Bar Foundation announced the receipt of a $150,000 bequest by Lester E. Zittrain. According to foundation executives, it is the largest bequest ever given to the foundation, and it will be added to the Zittrain Forums on Law and Public Policy, a fund that was established by Lester and Ruth Zittrain in 2000. Zittrain, one of Pittsburgh's best known attorneys and one of the city's earliest sports agents, passed away in January.

"Les Zittrain was one of the most active members in the history of the Allegheny County Bar Association and a man truly committed to his family, his profession, and the city of Pittsburgh," said Joan Ellenbogen, President of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. "This generous gift will ensure that the charitable efforts and service to the community for which Les was widely known will continue for many years to come."

According to Ruth A. Zittrain, her husband and law partner wanted to ensure that the foundation continued its fine work in bringing nationally-known, quality speakers to Pittsburgh for presentations to both area lawyers and the public.

"Les was so proud of being a lawyer - a good, hard working lawyer, who left the world a little better than he found it. He never took a case he didn't believe in 100 percent, and he gave it his all. He loved research, and you could almost hear him whisper 'Eureka!' when he found the case on point. He loved teaching our young law clerks how to apply to the real world what they had learned in law school. He was a good man, intelligent, kind, articulate, generous, honest, honored by the plaintiff's bar, and trusted by the defense bar. And, we had a lot of fun practicing law together."

As part of his 44-year successful law practice, Les Zittrain was the attorney (he never liked being called "an agent") for many famous athletes/sports figures, including Pistol Pete Maravich, Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Rocky Bleier, Myron Cope, and many other Steelers from the great 1970s teams. Zittrain was a Charter and Sustaining Fellow and an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, a long-time elected member of the ACBA Board of Governors, a Life Fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar foundation and a delegate from Allegheny County to the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates. He was chair of both the Judiciary Committee and the Civil Litigation Section of the ACBA in the same year.