Asa Rountree III

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Asa Rountree III

John Asa Rountree III (born c. 1927 in Birmingham; died February 11, 2010 in New York) was an attorney and publisher.

Rountree was the son of Asa Rountree Jr. He attended the public schools in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery and graduated from the Capitol Page School in Washington D. C. after serving as a page to the U. S. Supreme Court. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

During World War II Rountree served in the Army's ordnance corps and as a military police officer. During the Korean War he was an infantry officer.

Rountree began his law practice in Birmingham in 1954 and became a partner in the firm of Cabaniss & Johnson and served as president of the Birmingham Junior Bar Association. He also was vice president of the Family Counseling Association and served on the budget committee for the Community Chest of Birmingham.

In 1962 Rountree moved to New York, New York and became a partner and corporate litigator in the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. He was active in the American Bar Association and founded its litigation section, which he chaired in 198081. He retired in 1991 and moved back to Birmingham as a shareholder in Maynard, Cooper & Gale, leaving that firm in 2000.

Rountree cultivated a lifelong scholarly interest in ancient Roman history. He wrote and published The Roman Republic: An Historical Parallel?, Human Nature, Morality and the State, and Words: Essays and Other Words.

Rountree and his first wife had two sons, Robert and John IV. After she died, he married economist Helen Hill Updike in 1998.


  • "Weddings; Helen Updike, Asa Rountree" (October 11, 1998) The New York Times
  • "Asa Rountree" obituary (February 14, 2010) The New York Times