- October 11-12, 1979
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to the public.
Biographical / Historical
Charles Kades (March 12, 1906 – June 18, 1996) was born in Newburgh, NY. He earned his bachelor’s in English from Cornell in 1927 and his law degree from Harvard in 1930. He worked as a municipal corporate lawyer before serving as the Assistant General Counsel for the Public Works Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Treasury Department. In 1942, Kades entered the US Army and in August 1945, he arrived in Japan for the occupation as a colonel. He served as the chief of GHQ’s Government Section and then deputy chief when General Courtney Whitney became chief. As deputy chief, Kades was chosen by General MacArthur to head the Steering Committee on drafting Japan’s postwar constitution. The constitution was instrumental in establishing an elected government and implementing a series of civil rights. In May 1949, Kades left Japan, returning to NY to work as a lawyer until his retirement in 1976. In 1996, Charles Kades passed away at the age of 90 years old. His personal papers, including drafts of the Constitution in both the Japanese and English versions, are held in the Gordon W. Prange Collection.