Celebrity Lawyer F. Lee Bailey Dies at Age 87

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One of the most famous United States lawyers, F. Lee Bailey, has died at the age of 87. He represented Patty Hearst, Sam Sheppard, the Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo, and one of O.J. Simpson’s lawyers. According to his oldest son, Bendrix Lee Bailey, the famed lawyer died on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in hospice care in Georgia.

His son further added that his father’s death was not related to COVID-19. The family believes his death is related to old age. Bailey’s son says that he will most likely be cremated due to not wanting a funeral. However, the family is considering having a celebration of life for the famed lawyer.

BaileyFrancis Lee Bailey was born on June 10, 1933, in Waltham, Massachusetts. Bailey attended a private boarding school called Cardigan Mountian School in Canaan, New Hampshire. This school is located not far from Dartmouth College.

He began his career as an actor. In 1981, he was in “Spiderman.” Bailey is also known for his roles in 1982’s “Matt Houston” and “Unsolved Mysteries” in 1987. In 1983, he hosted the show “Lie Detector.” In this show, he would question guests and give their answers to a polygrapher.

In 1967, for a short period of time, he hosted the TV chat show “Good Company.” According to IMDb, he was the inspiration for the character Clinton Judd from the TV series “Judd, for the Defense.” Tim Conway portrayed a spoof character, based on Bailey, named F. Lee Bunny on “The Carol Burnett Show” in 1967.

In 1960, he married his first wife Florence Gott. They divorced in 1961. Sometime before 1972 he married his second wife, Froma Portney. Before they divorced in 1972 they had one child together. On August 26, 1972, he married Lynda Hart. They were married for about eight years before they divorced in 1980. He married Patricia Shiers on June 10, 1985. On Sept. 12, 1999, Shiers passed away making Bailey a widower.

Not only was he a famous celebrity lawyer — and actor — he also wrote many true crime books.

Oddly enough the celebrity lawyer needed an attorney himself in 1982 when he was arrested for drunk driving in California. His lawyer, Robert Shapiro, managed to help him beat the charge. Bailey became good friends with Shapiro, even became godfather to one of his children.

In 1994, Shapiro and Baliey represented Claude DuBoc, who was characterized by the federal government as a marijuana trafficking kingpin. The two lawyers eventually negotiated a verbal plea deal with the U.S. Attorney in Florida. DuBoc agreed to turn over all his assets to the federal government.

These assets included his shares of the company BioChem. At the time of the plea bargain BioChem was worth around $6 million. By 2000, the BioChem stock was worth an additional $14 million. Bailey had been named caretaker of the stock. He deposited the money into his own personal account before the government could collect the money.

Bailey pled poverty to the press as his reason behind keeping the money. In court, the celebrity lawyer claimed he was owed the money for legal fees. He was sent to prison for 44 days for contempt of court in 2000. This action caused him to be stripped of his attorney license. On Nov. 21, 2001, the Florida Supreme Court decided to uphold the decision to uphold his permanent disbarment.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided to disbar Bailey — over his illegal actions taken in the DuBoc case — in 2003.  On June 9, 2006, this decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

In 2009, he took and passed the bar exam in Maine. However, the bar forbade him from practicing law due to the fact they felt he did not possess “the honesty and integrity” to practice law.

Bailey is survived by his three children, family, and friends.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

TMZ: F. LEE BAILEY FAMED LAWYER DEAD AT 87

IMDb: F. Lee Bailey

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Jeremy Brooks’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

 

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