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Hospitality law scholar John E.H. Sherry dies

John E.H. Sherry, professor emeritus of law in the School of Hotel Administration, died Oct. 30, 2013, in Staunton, Va., at age 81.

Sherry began teaching at Cornell in 1972 and retired in 1997. He developed and taught the course “Business and Hospitality Law” in the Hotel School as well as courses in international law at Cornell Law School.

His father, John Harold Sherry, taught at Cornell for 43 years. The younger Sherry’s revision and expansion of his father’s book, “The Law of Innkeepers: For Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Clubs,” remains the standard reference text in hospitality law.

Born March 17, 1932, in New York City, Sherry grew up in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. He received a B.A. from Yale University, L.L.M. from New York University and J.D. from Columbia University, where he was a classmate of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He began his career with a law practice in Manhattan.

He served in the Korean War with the 17th Field Artillery Battalion and in the Army Reserve through the early 1960s, when he was called again to active duty during the Cuban missile crisis, ending his service with the rank of captain.

He traveled extensively throughout his career, including sabbatical leaves to China and Israel. He is remembered by his family for his scholarly intellect, profound commitment to his students, his work ethic and his sense of humor punctuated by a deep bass laugh.

Sherry is survived by two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren. A memorial gathering will be held at Union Bridge Church of the Brethren in Union Bridge, Md., March 9. The family requests that donations be made to the John H. Sherry Sr. Memorial Scholarship in the School of Hotel Administration.

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John Carberry