George Brock Haley Jr., 83: Atlanta lawyer and mentor

When he was a kid, he would give speeches to various organizations and groups.

"He just had an unbelievable speaking voice and his parents encouraged him," said his daughter, Susan Haley Brumfield of Atlanta. "He became a litigator, so of course he used that beautiful voice of his."

Mr. Haley earned his bachelor's degree as well as his law degree from Harvard University. After law school, he returned to Atlanta and joined the law firm Kilpatrick, Cody, Rogers, McClatchey & Regenstein, now Kilpatrick Stockton LLP. His career as an associate and partner lasted 43 years.

Along the way, he mentored many. One of them was Michael W. Tyler, now a business litigator with Kilpatrick. Like Haley, he's a graduate of Harvard Law School, class of 1981. After a clerkship, he joined the firm under Mr. Haley's tutelage.

"George Haley was the single most instrumental mentor I have had in my legal career," Mr. Tyler said. "He's one of the true giants of the legal community. He emphasized ethical behavior in all aspects of the practice, and that is what I learned and now carry with me throughout my career."

Five years ago, George Haley Jr. was diagnosed with melanoma. On Sunday, he died from the disease at Hospice Atlanta. He was 83. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Spring Hill chapel of H.M. Patterson & Son, which is handling arrangements.

An Atlanta native, Mr. Haley graduated from Atlanta Boys High School as the 1943 class salutatorian. He received a scholarship to attend Harvard. From 1944 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Army, then returned to Harvard to earn a bachelor's degree in political science.

Mr. Haley was in law school when he met his future wife, Marjorie Elizabeth Griffiths of Winchester, Mass. They met on a bus.

"She was going to see a sister in New Hampshire and he was going to see a childhood friend who was in school up there," said a daughter, Katherine Haley Herman of Atlanta. "He adored her. The memorial service will be a celebration of his life and their marriage of 59 years."

In the early 1950s, the couple moved to Atlanta, where Mr. Haley joined the law firm of Kilpatrick, Cody, Rogers, McClatchey & Regenstein. Through the years, he was active in the recruitment of new associates.

Since his death, many have called to offer the family their condolences and to express gratitude for his guidance.

Mr. Tyler, who also chairs MARTA's board of directors, said Mr. Haley stressed civic involvement and responsibility, too. "It was his hallmark," he said.

Mr. Haley was a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar Association, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and the Atlanta Bar Association. He served on the board of directors for the Atlanta Boys High School Alumni Association.

For the past 30 years, his respite had been a lake house in Rabun County.

"He liked to go up there and putter around the house," said his daughter, Mrs. Herman. "That was his hobby. And traveling."

Additional survivors include two sons, George Brock Haley III of Victor, Idaho and Victor Pearse Haley of Atlanta; a sister, Ruth Jeannine Smith of Woodstock; two brothers, Henry Carroll Haley of Calhoun and Charles Wesley Haley of Marietta; and six grandchildren.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.