Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Cyrus Vance Jr. ’77

When a guy who shares a name with his famous father goes to work for a famous boss—nicknamed “The Boss”—it can be hard to get notice in his own right. But Cyrus Vance Jr. ’77 stepped into the spotlight on January 4, when he was sworn in as Manhattan’s district attorney. He is the first new person to hold that office since 1975, and only the fourth ever: the legendary Robert Morgenthau ’48LLB served for 35 years before finally retiring.

In his inaugural speech this week, Vance invoked the guidance he gained from Morgenthau as an assistant DA in the 1980s: “His message to the staff was always simple and clear: to prosecute without fear and without favor.” At the same time, Vance spoke of “our dual responsibilities as prosecutors to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction, as much as the victims who have been wronged.” In an interview with the New York Times, Vance also reflected on a lessons learned as the son of a cabinet secretary: after seeing “the all-consuming nature” of his father’s work, Cyrus Jr. waited until his own kids were grown before running for office.

Filed under milestones, elected
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