Stephen Ailes (‘36 JD)*
Stephen Ailes was born in Romney, W.Va., the son of Eugene E. and Sallie Cornwell Ailes and the grandson of Governor and Mrs. John J. Cornwell.
He attended the Scarborough School in Scarborough, New York, and graduated from the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., from Princeton University and from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1936.
Ailes practiced law in Martinsburg, W.Va., before and after serving for three years as an assistant professor of law at the College of Law, and then moved to Washington, D.C., at the outset of World War II where he served on the legal staff of the Office of Price Administration, ending as an Assistant General Counsel.
From 1946 until he retired in 1993, Ailes practiced law with the Washington law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, principally as a litigator in the antitrust field. He took a brief leave of absence to serve as Under Secretary and Secretary of the Army in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and, in 1972, he took another leave of absence for five years as President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads.
Ailes was a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and of the Intelligence Oversight Board under President Gerald Ford. He was a director of the Riggs National Bank, president of the Federal City Council, vice chairman of the Maryland Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, president of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal High School, and of Greater Washington Telecommunications Association (WETA Channel 26 and WETA FM). For 14 years he was a trustee of Princeton University.
He served as chairman of the George C. Marshall Foundation, and vice chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States. From 1983 to 1988, he served as founding chairman of the Board of the National Rehabilitation Hospital and served as vice chairman and Director of Medlantic Healthcare, its parent group.
Mr. Ailes was a member of the Mediation Panel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the West Virginia, District of Columbia and American Bar associations, the Lawyers Club of Washington, The Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and The American Law Institute.
In 1981, he was one of the first recipients of the College of Law’s Justitia Officium award, the College’s highest honor.
Mr. Ailes passed away in April 1999.