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Anthony M. Fitzgerald

June 4, 2019

Tony Fitzgerald (always “Fitz” to his friends, and grandchildren) wrote in his 50th Reunion essay, “I have been one of those ‘one house, one job, one wife’ guys.” Known among Yale’s Class of 1966 for his wit, his intellect, and his height, Tony will be deeply missed. The New Haven Register noted at his death on June 4, 2019: “At 6’8,” with his trademark bow tie and courtly manner, he cut a distinctive figure in the courtroom with a dominant presence.” His partners at Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP established the Anthony M. Fitzgerald Fund for Excellence at Tony’s retirement after close to fifty years at the firm in downtown New Haven. Tony was frequently described as a “lawyer’s lawyer.”

Tony was born on May 16, 1944 in Waterbury, CT to William B. Fitzgerald, Sr. and Margaret Cunning Fitzgerald. He attended the McTernan School, was a graduate of The Taft School, and entered Yale in September 1962. Tony majored in English and was a Ranking Scholar. He played basketball and was elected Social Chairman of the Fence Club. He concluded his essay for our 50th: “Almost every day I drive past the room in Wright Hall looking out on Elm Street that John F. Sullivan and I shared as freshmen. I feel lucky to have had a Yale education, which I call upon often in work and pleasure.”

After Yale Tony attended Columbia University Law School, and in 1969 was awarded a JD degree with honors. For academic distinction he was designated a Stone Scholar, named for alumnus Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone. He returned to Waterbury to join his father and brother at Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald; the firm merged with Carmody and Torrance in 1972.
Tony’s legal career brought him many awards and accolades, including election to the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He served as president of the Connecticut chapters of both and was repeatedly named one of the Best Lawyers in America by peer review. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award by his peers in the Connecticut Bar Association. He represented energy companies in regulatory proceedings and related litigation and noted in his 50th Reunion essay: “Now I spend most of my time trying to get electric transmission lines built.”

Tony also had a full life out of the office and was a voracious reader. He was an opera buff as well a lover of music from New Orleans and Motown, a holdover from his Fence Club days. He is survived by Anne, his wife of fifty years. Tony and Anne met at International House where she was studying at the Columbia Library School after a Fulbright year in London. She is a Vassar graduate who is now retired as a librarian. They have two daughters, Caitlin Fitzgerald and Margaret Fitzgerald Wagner (Rod Wagner), and two grandchildren: Jack and Annie Wagner.

Tony was literally, and figuratively, and emotionally close to Yale. From his 50th Reunion essay:

“I maintain some loose ties to Yale, including membership in the fellowship of Timothy Dwight College. In addition to offering opportunities to listen to fascinating talks, it lets me march in the graduation procession. This is important, because I get to wear Columbia doctoral robes, which are powder blue with gold crowns on the breast, accessorized by a floppy velvet hat.”

The next live TD graduation march will be less colorful in Tony’s absence.

Stephen M. Clement III