Ray Hutchison, Dallas Attorney, Dies at 81

Ray Hutchison, a prominent figure in the development of North Texas and husband to retired U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, died Sunday night at 81, NBC 5 has learned.

Hutchison worked as senior counsel at the Dallas law office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, where he represented public agencies and worked on legislative framework for state and local agencies.

As a influential bond lawyer, Hutchison was known for his work in development of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and stadiums like the American Airlines Center.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings shared his respects to Hutchison:

"Ray Hutchison was a true city father who served a critical role in most major capital projects in the Dallas area over the last several decades. His wisdom and intellect will be sorely missed. Ray left a significant mark on Texas, and it is most appropriate that he will be laid to rest in Austin with other legendary Texans who helped build this state."

He was remembered in a statement from the law firm:

"It is with profound sadness that Bracewell & Giuliani LLP confirms the passing of our friend and partner Ray Hutchison on March 30, 2014.

For more than 50 years Hutchison served as counsel to state and local governments and was regarded as a leading bond lawyer in the state of Texas, who worked on many of the most significant development projects in North Texas during this period.

“Ray was involved in virtually every major government development project in North Texas over the past five decades,” said Ben Brooks, head of Bracewell’s public finance practice and longtime friend of Hutchison.

Hutchison was key to the development of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, as well as numerous professional sports facilities built in North Texas during his career. He also led the negotiations to move the Washington Senators to Arlington to become the Texas Rangers and worked on the complex issues faced with building their stadium."

Hutchison graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University in his undergraduate studies and from the Dedman School of Law at SMU.

He served Dallas County from 1973 to 1977 in the Texas House of Representatives, where as a state legislator, he met future wife Kay Bailey Hutchison.

He ran for the Republican governor nomination in 1978, but lost to Bill Clements, who went on to be the first Republican governor of Texas since Reconstruction.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement on Monday on the passing of Hutchison.

“Ray Hutchison was a visionary and strong leader. He was my friend and co-counsel before I was County Judge and remained a great friend and trusted advisor after my election. Ray and I were from different political parties, but that was never an issue. Ray approached every challenge with grace, wisdom, and a desire to do the right thing.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry released a statement on Monday afternoon.

“This weekend, we lost an extraordinary Texan in Ray Hutchison. From his commitment to developing the North Dallas community, to his service in the U.S. Navy and Texas Legislature, to his instrumental role in the creation of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Ray was a leader in every aspect of his life, and his contributions to the state of Texas will positively impact countless Texans for generations to come. Ray was a true public servant, a devoted husband and a loving father. Anita joins me in sending our prayers and deepest condolences to his wife, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, his children, and the rest of Ray’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

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