His organization, the Democracy Alliance, became one of the most influential coalitions of liberal donors in American politics.
Grief over the murder of his father spurred the New Hampshire state legislator to become a leading advocate for the abolition of capital punishment.
A consummate political insider, he served two stints in the White House that bookended the administration of Ronald Reagan.
The former chief of the Office of Legal Counsel and acting solicitor general helped shape generations of jurists with the intellect he brought to questions of constitutional law.
His incisive commentaries helped provide the intellectual underpinning of landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings guaranteeing protections for criminal defendants and suspects, among them those contained in the Miranda warning.
A humanist and a humanitarian, Dr. Cahn sought to harness the power of the law to promote social justice, helping establish the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans.
He later led the Justice Department’s criminal division and served briefly as the top deputy to Attorney General Janet Reno.
One of the first African Americans to represent Florida in Congress since Reconstruction, she spent five terms championing services for the poor and expanded opportunities for minorities.