Fort Worth attorney, Law Library's Namesake, Dee J. Kelly Sr. Dies

October 5, 2015

Law-Library-Dee-J-Kelly-bustTexas A&M University School of Law's Dee J. Kelly Law Library was named in honor of Kelly
Texas A&M University School of Law Library’s namesake, Dee J. Kelly Sr., a prominent Texas attorney and political power broker, died unexpectedly Friday, October 2 at age 86.

Kelly, born in Bonham, received his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he worked for U.S. House Speaker Sam Rayburn.

A Texas Christian University graduate, Kelly returned to Texas after law school and worked at the Texas Railroad Commission before starting his own private practice in Fort Worth in 1964. He was a founding partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman, the largest law firm in the city.

A constant supporter of Fort Worth’s law school, Kelly and his wife, Janice, were the primary benefactors supporting the $6.5 million renovation to the school in 2005.

Kelly was among the 2015 Texas Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award recipients in August. He had a passion for law and Fort Worth. In his distinguished career, he represented the Bass and Moncrief families, John Justin and AMR Corp. (American Airlines parent company), among others. Kelly was named as one of the 10 most influential leaders in Tarrant County during the second half of the twentieth century by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Andrew Morriss, Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair, said Texas A&M’s thoughts and prayers are with the Kelly family.

“Fort Worth’s legal community lost a giant with the passing of Dee Kelly Sr.,” he said. “He was a strong supporter of this community and our school and we will all miss him.”

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law