CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BERNON, (BERNSTEIN) MAURICE

BERNON, (BERNSTEIN) MAURICE

BERNON, (BERNSTEIN) MAURICE (24 Aug. 1885-23 Mar. 1954) political activist, and philanthropist, was born in Cleveland, the son of polish immigrants David J. and Augusta Jacobs Bernstein. Educated at CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, Bernstein entered Western Reserve University Law school at age 18 and , received an LLB degree in 1906. After graduation he practiced law and held a succession of elected and appointed positions in local government, including Cleveland City Councilman, representing the 15th Ward on lower Woodland Ave. 1908-09, and assistant city solicitor, 1910-1911. As a member of member of the Ohio Senate 1913-14, Bernstein promoted legislation in the tradition of Cleveland Mayor Tom Johnson who sought to improve the quality of urban life in Cleveland; he also was Assistant Attorney General, Ohio 1917-18. Changing his name to Bernon about 1919, he was elected judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in 1920, serving until 1924. At that time he was the senior partner in the firm of Bernon, Mulligan, Keeley & LeFever. Bernon was one of the principal strategists for the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party 1928-34, the period when the Ward-Mayor form of government replaced Cleveland's CITY MANAGER PLAN. He was elected to the party's Executive Board in 1936. Active in the JEWISH COMMUNITY FEDERATION, Bernon was the first campaign chairman of the Jewish Welfare Fund organized to provide money for local, national, and international Jewish causes outside the scope of local welfare activities.

Bernon married Minnie Reiss 25 Dec. 1912, and they had two children, Howard of Roslyn, N.Y. and George. A resident of Cleveland when he died, Bernon was buried at Mayfield Cemetery.