Farewell Geoffrey Wright

On October 24, 2020, a young lawyer named Geoffrey Wright passed away at 31 from a sudden cardiac event. Few on this blog would know Geoff, but his loss is being felt by our entire law school community. He was one of my former students in Torts and worked as one of my editors on an article with the George Washington University Law Review. He was a brilliant lawyer with unlimited potential. He was also a deeply caring and decent person.  His loss is a terrible tragedy for his family, our school, and the legal profession.

Geoff was an incredible law student who stood out in the class for his insatiable interest in the law and penetrating legal analysis. He had an incredible eye for detail and a quiet patience that made him an ideal lawyer.  He secured one of the most sought after clerkships in the country on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit with the Honorable Deborah Cook. He went on to work with state Solicitor General’s office and fought for the public interest both as public and private counsel.

We both shared a love for backpacking and hiking. He would refer to his trips into the outdoors as his “vision quests.” He lived his life as boldly and brightly as he practiced law.  After he took the bar, Geoff did not do the usual tour of Europe or beach resort. In 2015, he sailed to the San Blas Islands.

Geoff was everything we want in our students: a brilliant lawyer who was driven to do good by others and to leave a legacy of improving the world in which in lived. There is a deep connection that academics have with our students; an intimacy that develops from the process of intellectual discovery and growth. For us, our students seem immortal and give us a sense of immorality by extension. They are forever young and inquisitive and enduring. To have someone like Geoff snatched from us at such a young age is incomprehensible and grotesque. That is why it is hard to find meaning or solace at times like this.

We are so grateful to the Wright family for sharing Geoff with this school and his profession. Last night, I drank a toast my former student and thought of Geoff just sailing into the vast and limitless ocean through the San Blas islands.  That is how he should remain with the wind to his back, his hand on tiller, and his face to the horizon.

Farewell Geoffrey Wright.

13 thoughts on “Farewell Geoffrey Wright”

  1. Slightly related.
    I had a friend name Geoffrey Wright who also died not too long ago. He was a friend from elementary school.
    I just also had 5 people I know die in the last 5 months. From various different causes. But I am hearing a lot of death lately, striking close to home.
    Just letting you all know, in case this is not just a statistical anomaly.
    Random thought was, hidden side-effects from the COVID-19 infections, that would otherwise go unnoticed.

    1. NB: Approximately 8,000 People die every day in the USA.
      Q: What are you doing today to make it count?

      Forget COVID. Focus on the real killers: sloth, gluttony, avarice, envy, etc

      ….

      Deaths and Mortality: Data are for the U.S.

      Death rate: 867.8 deaths per 100,000 population

      Number of deaths: 2,839,205
      Life expectancy: 78.7 years
      Infant Mortality rate: 5.66 deaths per 1,000 live births

      Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

      Heart disease: 655,381
      Cancer: 599,274
      Accidents (unintentional injuries): 167,127
      Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 159,486
      Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 147,810
      Alzheimer’s disease: 122,019
      Diabetes: 84,946
      Influenza and Pneumonia: 59,120
      Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 51,386
      Intentional self-harm (suicide): 48,344
      Source: Mortality in the United States, 2018, data table for figure 2

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

  2. Sudden Cardiac Death in an athletic, young male often occurs during vigorous exercise, emotional stress, cold temps, medications, stimulants, etc in those with inheritable Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), inheritable long QT syndrome, congenital structural heart / coronary artery malformations, Prinzemetal angina, etc.

    They happen more than you think and they get attention when it happens in an athletic young person. The question here is whether Mr Wright had a family history of cardiac problems.

    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.020254

    Memento mori

  3. I am so sorry for the your loss and that of the Wright family. Your article was a beautiful tribute to him. May all who knew and loved Mr. Wright, find peace and comfort over the following days and months. 🙏

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