Fred Baron, one of the prime backstage movers behind the recent resurgence of the Texas Democratic Party, has passed away at the age of 61.
Mr. Baron became known as the King of Torts for his more than 30 years of successfully representing clients injured by toxic substances, beginning with a 1977 asbestos case.
"Fred is a guy who changed the world, cared about helping people and wasn't in it for himself," said Marc Stanley, a longtime friend and chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Mr. Baron "loved anything where he felt he was helping people," said his wife, Lisa Blue-Baron of Dallas. "His whole thing was trying to make things better for other people."
Mr. Baron's desire to help people fired his passion for the law and politics, Ms. Blue-Baron said.
Mr. Baron was especially well respected in Texas political circles.
Texas Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie said Mr. Baron was a true champion of the people.
"A fierce advocate for those who believed they had no voice, Fred made it his life mission to protect and defend those who needed the most help," he said.
Former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost called Mr. Baron a great man.
"He was generous and believed in the Democratic Party," Mr. Frost said. "He believed that people should have an opportunity in life. He single-handedly started to change the political face of Texas."