David ‘Duff’ Dretzin

David ‘Duff’ Dretzin

David “Duff” Dretzin had a big heart, a social conscience and a keen sense of humor. He will be missed.


David “Duff” Dretzin, who served for more than a decade as The Nation‘s labor lawyer, died a few weeks ago after a stroke-caused accident while driving to New York City from the country community he helped found in Hillsdale, New York, in the early 1970s. Duff had a big heart, a social conscience and a keen sense of humor. He produced the anti-Vietnam War play MacBird. He was, for the past thirteen years, the pro bono counsel for Billy Kuenzel, an inhabitant of Alabama’s death row, on whose innocence he insisted. And he loved to tell the story of how he survived a McCarthy era military investigation into his loyalty where one of the charges against him was that he had “a close and continuing association” with his mother. We miss you, Duff.

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