Keir Bradford-Grey Remembers Thurgood Matthews

Thurgood Matthews was with the Defender for over 40 years and was the head of the Special Defense Unit. He passed away on November 20. Read more about Thurgood here. 
PHILADELPHIA–“It is with great sadness and extreme difficulty that I write to inform you of the passing of one of the Defender Association of Philadelphia’s most beloved family members, Thurgood Matthews. Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to Thurgood’s family members and especially our Defender colleague, Thurgood’s daughter, Keisha Matthews. 

“Words cannot describe what the loss of a legal giant like Thurgood Matthews means to our legal community.  The Defender Association was fortunate to have a lawyer of such great distinction dedicate his career to enhancing the standards of excellent representation. He instilled a sense of pride in so many professionals within the Association to remind us how much of an honor it was to work on behalf of communities fighting for their civil rights.   

“The contributions Thurgood made to the legal profession are both numerous and monumental.  Those of us who had the privilege of being guided and mentored by him have, and will continue to benefit tremendously from his sharp, intellectual trial instincts, which were second to none.

“He touched our lives in so many ways. He was a great friend and confidant. His wise counsel and sharp wit often transformed simple conversations into intellectual life lessons. He combined humor with frank honesty in a way that made us keep coming back for repeated doses of his wisdom.

“Thurgood Matthews was the epitome of what it means to be a defender. He was a fierce advocate, quick to attack those who stepped out of the bounds of ethics of our profession. He was well-respected by his opponents, who feared his ire if they dared to discharge their duties with anything but honor and dignity. He truly raised the bar, and I am privileged and honored that I had the opportunity to enhance and hone my craft under his mentorship. But most of all, I am blessed to call him my friend and family.  

“There are certain people who can never be replaced, but whose legacies will live on through our efforts to enhance the quality and standards of our practice and culture. Thurgood Matthews is one of those people. He was loved and will be tremendously missed.” 
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