Clive Cummis was born in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Weequahic High School, he earned his A.B. from Tulane University in 1949 and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1952. He later earned his LL.M. in Administrative and Public Law from New York University in 1959.
After law school, Cummis served stateside in the U.S. Army.
As we know from our January 2021 history entry, Cummis was one of the founders of the law firm of Sills Beck Cummis Radin & Tischman in 1971.
He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Walter J. Freund, New Jersey Appellate Division. Early in his career, he specialized in municipal law. Later on, his legal practice encompassed administrative law, appellate law, casino law, and complex and multi-district litigation. Cummis became very well-known in the field of casino law. In the 1990s, Arthur Goldberg, the CEO of Park Place Entertainment, requested Cummis to come in-house as Vice President and General Counsel; eventually he became Vice Chairman of the Board.
Cummis, known for his signature bow tie, was well-known in national and state politics and served as a delegate and super delegate at Democratic National Conventions. He hosted many fundraisers at his home in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey. Appointed by President Clinton, he served as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships from 1993 to 2001. He was a founding member of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and served on its Executive Committee. In January 2003, Cummis returned to the Firm and to the practice of law and expanded his philanthropic endeavors. In 2006, the Newark Museum, where he served as a trustee, appointed him Chairman of its Signature Project Campaign.
Hallmarks were his dedication to law, community work and philanthropy.