About Herbert J. Stern
Conducted grand jury investigation into death of Malcolm X, United States Judge for the District of New Jersey
The Honorable Herbert J. Stern has led a distinguished career as a prosecutor and judge in New Jersey. By age 36, Stern, a U.S. Attorney, had prosecuted eight mayors, two secretaries of state, two state treasurers, two powerful political bosses, a U.S. congressman and 64 other public officials. During his career, he also conducted the Grand Jury investigation into the death of Malcolm X and served as special counsel for the Iran-Contra indictments against former Lt. Col. Oliver North.
Stern’s career has been so dynamic, it has inspired two books, “Tiger in the Court” and “Judgment in Berlin,” of which the latter was adapted into a major motion picture with Martin Sheen portraying Stern as he presides over an international hijacking case.
In early 2006, Stern made headlines when he was named to oversee the finances of the University of Dentistry and Medicine of New Jersey, an institution beset with financial fraud. Stern uncovered unethical and illegal financial practices by R. Michael Gallagher, a former dean of the school, and Newark City Council President Donald Bradley, a trustee of the school.
A senior partner at Stern & Kilcullen in Roseland, N. J., Stern continues to be referred to as a corruption fighter and is sought after to handle cases involving dishonest government practices, investigating everything from town board members to mob bosses.
Since graduating, Stern has stayed active within the Hobart and William Smith community. He received an honorary degree from the Colleges in 1974, has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 1997, and was instrumental in starting the Colleges’ mock trial team, which he continues to advise. Stern has also been influential in preserving the collection of books donated in honor of the late Professor Frank O’Laughlin. The Colleges’ new academic building, Stern Hall, is named in honor of Stern’s generosity.
Stern lives in New Jersey with his wife and children, including son Samuel ‘03.