Arthur Sills was born in Brooklyn, New York. His family moved to Perth Amboy, New Jersey when he was young. After graduating from Perth Amboy High School, he earned his B.A. from Rutgers University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
At the age of 4 years old, Sills contracted polio. As a young man, he would travel to Warm Springs, Georgia for polio treatments. While there, he met President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was also there for treatment. FDR and Sills would discuss politics.
After law school, Sills was hired by David Wilentz in 1941. In 1950 he became a partner at Wilentz, Goldman, Spitzer & Sills and remained there until 1962. Nominated by Governor Richard J. Hughes, Sills served as Attorney General of the State of New Jersey from 1962 to 1970. While Attorney General, Sills championed civil rights causes and strong gun-control laws.
As we know from our January 2021 history entry, Sills was one of the founders of the law firm of Sills Beck Cummis Radin & Tischman in 1971. His legal practice at the Firm encompassed complex litigation and administrative law, among others. BTW, our own Ken Oettle was Arthur Sills’ nephew.
Sills was a former president of the National Association of Attorneys General. He also served on the Board of the New Jersey Anti-Defamation League. Sills received the Pope Paul VI Humanitarian Award in 1968.
Hallmarks were his dedication to law and politics.