Professor Herman L. Trautman, who served on Vanderbilt’s law faculty from 1950 to 1977, died on Monday, February 25. He was 96.
A highly respected expert in taxation, Professor Trautman was the last surviving member of a core group of five renowned professors who joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty between 1947 and 1957.
"Professor Trautman was a member of the law faculty for almost 30 years, " said Don Welch, Associate Dean for Administration and author of a history of the law school, Vanderbilt Law School: Aspirations and Realities, released in fall 2008. "He and four other faculty members, including former Dean John Wade, Paul Hartman, Paul Sanders and Ted Smedley, formed the core of Vanderbilt’s law faculty for many years, and they played an extremely important role in establishing Vanderbilt as one of the nation’s top law schools. They are remembered with love and respect by a generation of Vanderbilt Law graduates."
Professor Trautman came to Vanderbilt as a visiting professor from the University of Alabama in 1949-50 and joined the law school’s permanent faculty the following year. He had earned his law degree at the University of Indiana, where he had also earned his undergraduate degree, in 1937 and then practiced law in Indiana until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1943.
During World War II, Professor Trautman served as a Lieutenant in the Navy, spending two years as an Associate Professor of Naval Science at the University of Virginia. He joined the law faculty at the University of Alabama after his discharge from the Navy in 1946 and remained there until 1949, when he joined Vanderbilt’s faculty. He spent the 1954-55 academic year as a Ford Foundation Faculty Fellow at Harvard University.
After his retirement from Vanderbilt, he and his son practiced law together as Trautman and Trautman for eight years.
Professor Trautman was born on September 26, 1911 in Columbus, Indiana. He is survived by his daughter, Pamela C. Trautman.