(1924 - 2005)
Pat Maloney Sr., 81, a flamboyant trial lawyer whose numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts landed him in years past on the Forbes magazine list of the nation's top moneymaking lawyers, died Sept. 11, 2005. Combative and controversial in a personal-injury and product-liability career that spanned more than a half-century, Mr. Maloney won more than a hundred cases where the verdict topped $1 million. He was known as the king of torts. He was born in San Antonio to an impoverished Irish Catholic family. With $50 to his name, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin in fall 1941 to study journalism. Three months later, after Pearl Harbor, he left school to join the Marines and was wounded in action on Guam and Iwo Jima. After receiving a Purple Heart, he returned to the University of Texas, where he received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1948. He decided to switch from journalism to law while covering the efforts of a young woman to get into law school at the University of Texas despite the school's effort to keep her out because it was reserving slots for returning male veterans. The young woman's zeal inspired him; she also became his wife. He received his law degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1950 and opened the Law Offices of Pat Maloney in 1953. He won his first multimillion-dollar verdicts in 1976 and 1977, in lawsuits against Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. In 1990, a year after being named to the Forbes list of top trial lawyers, he won four more multimillion-dollar verdicts.