Gibson Gayle Jr., who served as president of the State Bar of Texas in 1976-1977, died September 16. He was 89.
Gayle, a Waco native, served in the U.S. Army during World War II before earning his law degree from Baylor Law School, after which he received the highest score ever at the time on the Texas Bar Exam in 1950.
He spent his legal career at Norton Rose Fulbright (then Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman and Bates and previously Fulbright & Jaworski) in Houston as an associate, partner, managing partner, executive committee chairman, and of counsel from 1950 to 2016.
Gayle served as president of the State Junior Bar (now the Texas Young Lawyers Association) in 1954-1955, a member of the State Bar Board of Directors from 1966 to 1969, and State Bar vice president in 1974-1975 before becoming State Bar President in 1976-1977.
As president, Gayle helped to maintain a unified bar, keeping its funds independent of legislative control. During Gayle’s tenure, the bar acquired videotaping and other equipment to allow for traveling continuing legal education and neared completion on the formation of a reciprocal insurance exchange to write professional liability insurance for Texas attorneys.
Gayle is remembered for his integrity and generosity as well as his devotion to family, friends, career, and community.
Gayle is survived by his wife of 68 years, Martha; daughters Sally Smith, Alice Gayle, and Jane Frey; sons Gibson Gayle III and Philip Gayle; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.