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Henry Howard, the founder of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, died Tuesday of natural causes. He was 88. A tax attorney, Howard founded the firm in 1954. His clients included baseball legend Ty Cobb, in a dispute with the California Franchise Tax Board. Howard also had a stint as the mayor of Hillsborough from 1980 to 1982. “Henry was a caring, compassionate, kind man,” said Howard, Rice Managing Partner Stuart Lipton. “He was very charming, always upbeat and friendly, a very patient man.” “He really encouraged young people and instilled in them that they could build their own practice,” added partner Richard Canady. “He was quick to turn over clients.” A 1946 graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, Howard flew combat missions in Europe in World War II. During his career he served on the board of The Heritage Foundation and was a founder of the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Howard grew the firm from a solo shop to a litigation boutique in the 1970s and then a full-service firm in the following decade. At the time of his retirement in the late 1980s, Howard, Rice had about 60 lawyers. It now has nearly 140 lawyers and 350 staff. “He set the tone for the firm, a tone that has never changed,” Canady said. He sought to “establish a collegial environment for people to practice in, which would lead to teamwork and not competition within the firm.” Howard is survived by his wife, Dorothy Bovet Howard, his son William Allen Howard, and daughter Katharine Howard Duane. Memorial services have yet to be scheduled.

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