March 7th, 2012 4:07 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Business

Brian Booth, Legal and Literary Lion, Dies

Brian Booth - Tonkon Torp

Brian Booth, a founding partner of the Tonkon Torp law firm and a longtime supporter of cultural and environmental causes, died last night at his home after battling brain cancer. He was 75.

A Roseburg native, Booth graduated from the University of Oregon and later Stanford Law. As a lawyer, he represented Nike for more than 20 years, as well as a host of other companies and non-profits.

Booth was an ardent reader and book-collector. In 1986, he founded the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts, which gave grants to authors and sponsors the yearly Oregon Book Awards ceremony.

Booth particularly loved the literature of the Northwest and edited "Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistlepunks: Stewart Holbrook's Lowbrow Northwest" (OSU Press 1992).

Tonkon Torp managing partner Mike Morgan says Booth established a strong culture at the firm.

"Brian was perhaps the most public-spirited citizen I know of," Morgan told WW. "He was also a fantastic lawyer. There are other fantastic lawyers, but not many with the devotion to public causes Brian had."  

Booth previously served on the boards of Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission, Oregon Institute of Literary Arts, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Health & Science University Foundation, Morrison Child and Family Center, University of Oregon Art Museum. At the time of his death he served on the boards of The Nature Conservancy, The Library Foundation of Multnomah County, Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission and Crater Lake National Parks Trust.

"He actively pushed the firm and all of us to follow his model of public involvement," Morgan says. "A lot of people are going to miss him."

Booth is survived by his wife, Gwyneth, his children Jenny Booth and Tom Booth and four grandchildren.
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