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If you want to identify one of the most influential lawyers in Texas history, the roster to choose from would likely—and rightly—include some pretty incredible legal titans that run the gamut from Big Law firm founders to plaintiff lawyers with a litany of eye-popping verdicts to trailblazers who achieved what no one before them had been capable of accomplishing.

But how do you qualify influence? In seeking the answer to that question, it might be necessary to step back and survey the landscape from a better vantage point—say, one with a 30,000-feet view. It’s there that you might find a case to be made for a New Jersey-born lawyer whose lifespan as a law firm partner in Texas lasted only a few short few years at the now-defunct Matthews, Nowlin, Macfarlane & Barrett in San Antonio, and whose Texas bar license lapsed in 1996. In fact, his legal experience might appear as a mere biographical footnote in a broader examination of the legacy he leaves as a businessman.

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