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Key West Courthouse named for Aronovitz.

President Barack Obama recently signed legislation renaming the federal courthouse in Key West for U.S. District Judge Sidney M. Aronovitz.

Both the Dade County and Monroe County bar associations issued resolutions calling for the courthouse to be named for Aronovitz, who was born in Key West in 1920 and grew up in the Southernmost City.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, introduced the bill to designate the United States courthouse located at 301 Simonton Street as the Sidney M. Aronovitz United States Courthouse.

"The naming of the Key West courthouse after my dad is thrilling news," said Miami's Tod Aronovitz, who served as president of The Florida Bar in 2002-2003.

"This is a great way to remember and honor Judge Aronovitz, who was a great Conch and a great American," Ros-Lehtinen said. "Judge Aronovitz worked diligently and tirelessly to better his community and make a difference in the lives of other people. His dedication and service to our community throughout his extensive career are truly exemplary and should be seen as an example for all of us to follow. What a great tribute to Judge Aronovitz to rename the U.S. courthouse in his hometown after him."

In 1937, Aronovitz graduated as valedictorian from Key West High School, where he was also the president of the senior class. His grandfather came to Key West in 1880, owned a general store on Duval Street, and founded the oldest conservative synagogue in Florida while raising six sons in Key West. Judge Aronovitz's parents were born in Key West as well and owned a family fabric store on Duval Street. Their involvement in the city was such that a street is named after the family: Aronovitz Lane.


A captain in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European Theater--where he won multiple field decorations, including the Bronze Star--he later served more than 20 years as a U.S. district court judge for the Southern District of Florida, ruling on important cases such as the treasure hunter Mel Fisher/Atocha case where he ruled in favor of Fisher. Judge Aronovitz also briefly served as a City of Miami commissioner from 1962 to 1966, as well as being vicemayor in 1965.

President Gerald Ford appointed Aronovitz to the federal bench in 1976, where he served until his death in 1997.

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Publication:Florida Bar News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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