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Former Diplomat Sol Linowitz, 91, Dies

The most difficult part of the assignment was getting the domestic political support needed for Senate ratification.

"The far right was absolutely sure that the nation's security was being damaged, and I bore the brunt of their attacks," Mr. Linowitz recalled in the Bar Report interview. "My life was threatened, and my family was threatened."

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Mr. Linowitz drew a distinction between legitimate opposition, personified by Ronald Reagan, among others, and what he called "the far right crazies." He made speeches around the country seeking to allay concerns about giving up control of the canal. The treaties were ratified in 1979 by the narrowest of margins.

Mr. Linowitz continued to take government assignments from the Carter White House. "Carter is a brilliant man, but he was inexperienced in a number of areas and unsophisticated in a number of fields," he wrote in his autobiography. "He lacked the surefootedness he thought he should have, and he was uncomfortable about relying on others for things he thought he should know and be able to do himself. He had an unusually solid grasp on what he wanted to accomplish, and an uncertain hold on how to go about it."

On Nov. 6, 1979, Carter appointed Mr. Linowitz "Personal Representative of the President for the Middle East Peace Negotiations." Those 14 months, Mr. Linowitz wrote, "were, as the President had promised, the most interesting and exciting -- and uncertain -- of my life. They might also, I think, have been the most productive, if the incoming Reagan administration had built in early 1981 on the foundations we had laid for them."

Mr. Linowitz's second book, "The Betrayed Profession: Lawyering in the 20th Century," published in 1994, reflected his concern that attorneys had inherited a noble profession and transformed it into a "huckstering business operation."

Mr. Linowitz called for more ethics courses in law school, as well as more attention to the philosophical, social and literary underpinnings of the Western legal system.

In a 1995 speech he urged lawyers "to demonstrate that their concern as lawyers is with the human and the humane, that they are truly committed to the principle of equality of access to the law, that lawyers accept the obligation to serve all of the people in our society. Then -- and only then -- will lawyers find that we have won and deserve the appreciation and respect of those we seek to serve -- then and only then will we once again be able to say with dignity and honor: 'I am truly proud to be a lawyer.' "

In 1998, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Receiving advice from Sol Linowitz on international diplomacy is like getting trumpet lessons from the angel Gabriel," President Bill Clinton said at the award ceremony, quoting Mack McLarty, a mutual friend. "If every world leader had half the vision Sol Linowitz does, we'd have about a tenth as many problems as we've got in this whole world today."

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Evelyn (Toni) Zimmerman Linowitz of the District; four daughters, Anne Mazursky of Ottawa, Canada, June Linowitz of Bethesda, Jan Wadden of Wynnewood, Pa., and Ronni Jolles of Great Falls, Va; three brothers, R. Robert Linowes of Chevy Chase, David F. Linowes of Chevy Chase and Harry Linowes of Bethesda; and eight grandchildren.

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