In Memoriam: Gerald Stern


We note with sorrow that Gerald Stern passed away on January 6, 2022, at the age of 86.

Mr. Stern was the Commission’s founding Administrator, and he guided the agency for 29 years, from its infancy as a “temporary” entity created by the Legislature through its formative years as a permanent constitutional entity. He became so synonymous with judicial ethics that the legal and judicial communities often referred to this agency as “The Stern Commission.”

As the Commission said in a dedication to him in its 2004 Annual Report:

Gerald Stern was appointed the Commission’s first Administrator in 1974. In his 29 years at the helm, Mr. Stern inexhaustibly devoted his skills and energy to improving the quality of our judiciary and the administration of justice, such that his very name became synonymous with the Commission’s work. He set a standard for fair and honest public service that will long be remembered.

Our thoughts and condolences are extended to Jerry’s family, with our profound gratitude for the example he set, which we faithfully endeavor to emulate.

A New York Times obituary of Mr. Stern is available online at