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Mr. McBride

Dec 26, 2012

By Dan

I met Bill McBride about 30 years ago. I was a summer law clerk at Holland&Knight and he was one of the firm’s leaders, ultimately becoming its managing partner.  Bill was a Chesterfield Smith protégée which meant he had the two qualities Chesterfield demanded in his wards: great talent and a pronounced sense of civic responsibility.


Initially I was intimidated. His imposing size seemed to reaffirm his pedigree as a hard charging Marine and a ferocious standout football player. But within moments it was clear he was more defined by his uncommon good nature than anything else.


Bill was incredibly gracious to me over the years. Whenever I asked if I could pursue public service opportunities (as a federal prosecutor and later as a U.S. Senate investigator) he let me know I would always have a place at the firm.


Even before his untimely passing, I thought of Bill as one of those people who epitomized my favorite Teddy Roosevelt passage: The Man in the Arena.

Roosevelt was celebrating the person who gave it all without regret and without fear, but also the person whose talents were “guided and regulated by a moral sense.” I felt that way about Bill. He was a man of great enthusiasms and great devotions. He loved football, the law, his friends and partners, our State and most of all his family. And he strived valiantly in his pursuits and was never afraid to spend himself in a worthy cause. But like his mentor, Chesterfield Smith, he believed those with more were obliged to do more and give more. He especially believed that of his legal profession.


Florida lost one if its great champions this week. 

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