Donald E. Gastwirth (deceased) is a Connecticut-based literary agent and attorney. His legal practice specializes in intellectual property, entertainment law, freedom of the press, defamation and other First Amendment issues.
In 1974 Don graduated from Yale Law School where he had studied Constitutional Law with Eugene Rostow and First Amendment Law with Thomas I. Emerson, Robert Bork and Alexander Bickel. As an attorney, Don was a partner in the firm of Gastwirth, McMillan & Still (1979-1984) before starting up his private practice and literary agency in 1984. Don currently represents scholars, government officials and journalists both as an attorney and literary agent. He has placed several books on the Middle East.
Don has served on the Board of Directors of The New Haven Shubert Theater (1980-1985) and of the Yale Center for Parliamentary History (1996-2000). Since 1990, Don has been a fellow of Trumbull College, one of the undergraduate residential colleges of Yale University. A former member of the Executive Committee on Intellectual Property of the Connecticut Bar Association, Don has lectured on copyright law and First Amendment law to that body, as well as frequently lecturing on copyright procedure for The Connecticut Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Don also taught a seminar on the law of the entertainment and publishing industries at Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego (1996-1999).
A contributor to the Wall Street Journal, New Haven Register and National Review, Don co-authored and produced the pilot show for “Mainstream, the Television Magazine of Life and Leisure”, a ground-breaking show which successfully inaugurated the concept of the broadcast magazine format. “Mainstream” was syndicated nationally for three years (1974-1977).