Allaire Urban Karzon, pioneering VLS professor, dead at 95

Jan 27, 2021

Allaire Urban Karzon of Nashville died January 24. She was 95. Karzon taught tax law at Vanderbilt from 1971 until her retirement in 1995.

Professor Karzon graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School and then launched a trailblazing carer that included government service, private practice, work as a corporate counsel and on the Vanderbilt Law School faculty, where she taught tax law and became the first tenured woman law professor in 1983. She spent the 1983-84 academic year as an academic visitor at the London School of Economics.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Professor Karzon was married to David T. Karzon, who joined the faculty of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine as chairman of the pediatrics department in 1968. Before moving to Nashville, Karzon worked as an attorney with the Office of Alien Property at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the legal department of RCA Corp. She later became the first woman partner at Hodgson Russ Andrews Woods & Goodyear in Buffalo, New York, where she practiced from 1952 to 1968. She was admitted to practice in New York, Tennessee, Maryland and Florida.

After moving to Nashville in1968, Karzon served as counsel to Performance Systems Inc. and Aladdin Industries, and practiced as a partner in Neal Karzon and Harwell. She also managed the family real estate business in New Jersey founded by her parents.

She joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty as a lecturer in 1971 and was appointed to a tenure-track position in 1977.

Her civic accomplishments included serving as president of the board of the Visiting Nurses Association in Buffalo and on the board of Planned Parenthood of Nashville.


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