Wayne Law Professor Peter Henning dies, 65

Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor and Wayne State University Law School professor, died Sunday, January 16, at the age of 65 after a battle with an aggressive form of frontotemporal dementia.

Henning was born in Los Angeles, CA. He earned his bachelor’s from Loyola Marymount University in 1978, and a master’s in philosophy from Fordham University in 1980.  He graduated in 1985 from Georgetown University Law Center where he served as a notes and comments editor on the Georgetown Law Journal. 

After graduation, he taught in the College of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University and then clerked for Chief Judge Murray M. Schwartz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. After clerking, Henning was a senior attorney in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission where he worked on cases involving insider trading, penny stock fraud, market manipulation and accounting irregularities. He then moved to the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked in the Fraud Section on the investigation and prosecution of bank fraud. During this time he also published articles in the Kansas Law Review, St. Louis University Law Journal, and American Criminal Law Review.

Henning joined Wayne Law in 1994.  

“Over the last 28 years, Professor Henning made an impact on students and colleagues near and far that will last a lifetime,” noted Wayne Law Dean Richard A. Bierschbach. “He will be remembered as wise, curious, enthusiastic, and fair.”

Henning was an elected member of the American Law Institute. He was the chair of the Criminal Law and Procedure Drafting Committee for the National Conference of Bar Examiners that is responsible for drafting and reviewing questions for the multi-state bar exam. He wrote a regular column, “White Collar Watch,” for The New York Times DealBook and was been quoted in a number of media outlets.

Henning is survived by his wife, Karen McDonald Henning; three daughters, Molly (Marc), Alexandra, and Grace; siblings Philip (Roberta), Edward (Lisa), Thomas (Claire), and Nancy (Thomas), and numerous nieces and nephews. 

A memorial service is being planned for the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable contributions in memory of Henning be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, https://www.theaftd.org/support-aftds-mission/, or the Brain Support Network, P.O. Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026, www.brainsupportnetwork.org.

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