George Barrett, prominent civil rights attorney, dies at 86

George Barrett, prominent civil rights attorney, dies at 86 (Image 1)
George Barrett, prominent civil rights attorney, dies at 86 (Image 1)

Prominent Nashville civil rights attorney George Barrett died Tuesday at the age of 86.

Barrett passed away after a sudden onset of pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School class of 1957, he went on to become an icon in the legal community for generations.

Known to fight for all the good causes, Barrett took on many prominent civil rights cases.

Mayor Karl Dean released a statement after learning of Barrett’s passing, saying, “George Barrett was larger-than-life and always willing to take up an unpopular cause if he felt it was the right thing to do. He was a social justice champion and was certainly on the right side of history as an attorney advocate during the Civil Rights Movement.”

The statement continued, “He was rightfully and affectionately known as Citizen Barrett. He was beloved by many friends and respected by his adversaries. Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to his entire family. He will be deeply missed.

Congressman Jim Cooper described Barrett as “one of the greatest people to ever live in Nashville.”

“He’ll be sorely missed. They’ll never be another George Barrett,” Cooper continued.

Statement from Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John G. Morgan on the passing of legendary civil rights attorney George Barrett:

“Our friend ‘The Citizen’ George Barrett was an incredible force for good in many ways. His work on behalf of students and higher education ensured access and opportunity are available to every Tennessean. All of us who were honored to know him are better off for it.”

Chancellor John G. Morgan from the Tennessee Board of Regents said,  “Our friend ‘The Citizen’ George Barrett was an incredible force for good in many ways. His work on behalf of students and higher education ensured access and opportunity are available to every Tennessean. All of us who were honored to know him are better off for it.”

Barrett is survived by his sister, three daughters, three sons-in-law, and 11 grandchildren.

His funeral will be held Saturday, August 30 at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Incarnation at 2015 West End Ave.

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