Irwin Birnbaum Esq.
Born 1/9/1930 in Rochester, NY
Died 3/5/2014 in Syracuse, NY

Irwin Birnbaum of Syracuse died March 5, 2014, at St. Josephs Hospital. Born on January 9, 1930 in Rochester, NY, son of the late Harold and Riva Birnbaum, he was raised and lived his entire life in Syracuse. He attended Syracuse University for his undergraduate studies and graduated from the Syracuse University School of Law. He was married to the late Leta K. Birnbaum of Syracuse for 51 years and they had two children. He had a distinguished career practicing law in New York State, starting with a private practice. In the 1960s, he was an Assistant District Attorney with Onondaga County. He subsequently returned to private practice, specializing in scientific litigation. He was a major innovator in the areas of medical malpractice and product liability and was renowned for his skill in the courtroom. He received national recognition for his pioneering work, especially with regard to damages caused by exploding champagne bottle corks. He served on multiple healthcare related boards and one of his most notable contributions was to ENABLE, an organization that focuses on issues surrounding Cerebral Palsy in Central New York. He was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Syracuse University. A lifelong advocate for civil rights, he was honored at the White House during President Jimmy Carters administration. Later in life, he continued his pro bono work, acting as a Guardian ad litem. He was an avid skier, sailor, cyclist and glider pilot. He and his family spent nearly 40 summers in the Thousand Islands at their cottage in Thousand Island Park. Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Birnbaum Funeral Chapel, 1909 E. Fayette Street. Friends may visit with the family on Sunday from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the chapel prior to the service. Burial will be in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. He is survived by his daughter, Wendi M. Birnbaum (Bob); his son, Daniel Birnbaum (Josh); a brother, Martin J. Birnbaum (Elaine); a sister, Linda B. Friedman (Joel); nieces and nephews, Lester Birnbaum, Alan Birnbaum, Amy Weisbach, Drew Friedman, Rachel Friedman; and grand nieces and nephews, Richard, Beth, Jonathan, Adi, Sawyer Foster and Eliana. He is also survived by Marcelle Willock, his significant other of nine years. Contributions may be made to ENABLE.
Published in Syracuse Post Standard from Mar. 5 to Mar. 9, 2014

Burial: Adath Yeshurun Cemetery, DeWitt, Onondaga County, New York, USA

Daughter: Wendi M. Birnbaum 1952 - 12/28/2016
Sister: Linda B. Friedman (Joel)
Burial Location
Leta (Kuppermann) Birnbaum
Born 1930
Died 5/24/2004
Harold L Birnbaum Veteran WWI
Born 1902 in Rochester, NY
Died 5/7/1967 in Syracuse, NY
Riva (Levin) Birnbaum
Born 1906
Died 5/7/1981