Dr. Uhlmann was a close colleague and friend to the Society, known to many as a superb teacher, adept practitioner, wonderful host, and a person of all-around excellent judgment. Through government service and first-rate writing, he enriched the nation that he loved.
Along with the Claremont Institute, his friends, former students, and surviving family, we express our heartfelt affection for Michael and our sorrow at his passing. He will be sorely missed.
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One of Professor Uhlmann’s very close friends, James Rockett of San Francisco, shared the following:
The sudden onset of a crippling disorder leading to the unexpected death of Michael Uhlmann has left a void that simply cannot be filled. I count myself to have been blessed by the joy of his friendship and would like to share some personal perspectives on what a remarkable person he was.
Mike’s analytical abilities founded in deeply held bedrock conservative beliefs were unhesitatingly transmitted to all who spent time with him. Whether in his time as a senior government official in the Reagan White House and subsequent Republican administrations, or his time in conservative think tanks or more recently as a professor in Claremont Graduate school, Mike conveyed his thoughts with crystalline clarity and disarming simplicity.
Years ago Mike was in private practice and I retained him to assist with a high profile case. The work he performed seamlessly combined technical legal matters, complex regulatory issues, a mares nest of overlapping regulatory agencies along with pure potentially devastating PR challenges. Mike never flinched, singlehandedly reaching an outcome that to this day is cited as a milestone in banking law. He wasn’t just a good lawyer, he was a brilliant practitioner.
On a personal level Mike never lost any opportunity to assist friends. When I was diagnosed with cancer, a parcel arrived unannounced containing a hand carved statue of St. Peregrine, the patron saint of those diagnosed with cancer. Perfect Uhlmann! He without failure inquired as to my health and offered his support.
Mike was the direct genesis of my involvement in the Federalist Society. One afternoon my phone rang and Mike Uhlmann was on the line. “Jim I would like you and Larry Callaghan to help me create a San Francisco presence of the Federalist Society”, at the time a group very few knew of and nobody in San Francisco would dare venture to consider. This introduction was one of the greatest services that anyone ever did for me. It remains a sealing ribbon on my love and admiration for Michael M. Uhlmann. God rest his soul.
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Also from Brigid Flaherty, now a PhD student at Baylor University, who met Michael more recently in her work as Associate Director of the Federalist Society's Faculty Division and a Claremont Publius Fellow:
He was a giant among men, though his greatest aspiration was to be a saint. The best storyteller I ever met, he commanded attention but never failed to give it by listening to others, especially students. I'll remember his hearty laugh, his perfect pronunciation, the mischevous twinkle in his eye when he began to make a controversial-but-true point, and that everything seems more serious in a mimicked German accent. Every moment was a teaching moment--not always about the law, the administrative state, or the Founding, but also vocation, duty, love, and God.
An American Gentleman. The world seems smaller today, but it is better because of Michael Uhlmann.