A Long and Winding Odyssey

Bork's evolution from socialism through libertarianism to a pugnacious conservatism

In the summer of 1962, Robert Heron Bork, then 35, resigned his $40,000-a-year junior partnership in Chicago's largest law firm, loaded his wife and three small children into their Chevrolet convertible and drove east to a $15,000 job teaching law at Yale. Although some of his partners were shocked, his intimates understood. "He told me he didn't want to spend his life practicing law and cash in at the end, leaving nothing but a trail of depositions, briefs and money," recalls Economist John McGee, a friend from those Chicago days. "He wanted to leave something enduring."

The move committed Bork to...

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