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Marvin D. Nathan

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is proud to present its 2013 Centennial Award to Marvin D. Nathan. A native Houstonian and graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, Marvin is known throughout the legal and general community for his work in civil rights.

Marvin’s involvement in civil rights began in 1966 immediately after law school graduation when he received an appointment to the U.S. Attorney General’s prestigious Honors Program and began working in the Civil Rights Division as a trial attorney assigned to enforce voting rights and the desegregation of restaurants, prisons, public accommodations and schools in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He participated in the successful prosecution of U.S. v. The Northwest Louisiana Restaurant Club, which resulted in the desegregation of all restaurants in Bossier City, and Shreveport, Louisiana, and U.S. v Post, which was the first case brought by the federal government to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a non-federal election.

Marvin’s ongoing support of civil rights enriches his work with the ADL. He has served with distinction on several Southwest Region committees, and served as board chair in 1999-2000. Marvin has also served as National Chair of ADL’s Church-State Task Force and Civil Rights Committee.  Currently, he is a member of the ADL’s National Executive Committee and National Civil Rights Executive Committee and he serves as National Chair of ADL’s Planning Committee. Marvin is a Founder, Director and the President of Nathan Sommers Jacobs and specializes in real estate law and business organizations and finance. He is a member of numerous civic organizations including various University of Houston support organizations, the Houston and Texas Bar Foundations, and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.  He is a board member of the University of Houston Law Foundation, the University of Houston Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League Foundation, and several private foundations.  Marvin is a national board member of GenesysWorks.  Marvin served as the University of Houston’s Creative Partnerships Campaign Vice-Chair which raised more than $350 Million.

Marvin received the ADL’s distinguished Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award in 2003.  His additional honors include two awards for outstanding contribution to the Houston Law Review, volunteer of the year awards at the University of Houston, the University of Houston Law Center Dean’s Award and most notably, the University of Houston Law Center’s Alumnus of the Year Award and the University of Houston’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Marvin D. Nathan Fellowship Fund has been endowed at the University of Houston Law Center to honor and recognize his community service. The Fellowship allows for a University of Houston Law Center student to work in the ADL’s Southwest Regional Office.

Marvin is married to Arlene Pepper.  Arlene and Marvin have two daughters, Nicole Gibson and Natalie Reichman, and five grandchildren, Alec, Evan and Eliya Gibson and Sydney and Sadie Reichman.  Nicole is the wife of George Gibson, and Natalie is the wife of Gavin Reichman.  The Nathan and Gibson families are members of Congregation Beth Israel.  George and Nicole Gibson continue Marvin’s tradition by being active in the Southwest Region of the ADL as board members and committee chairs.

Our community is a better place because of Marvin’s passion and commitment to stopping the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice for all.


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