Attorney Willie E. Gary is
living the American Dream. Once a migrant worker, now a multi-millionaire
attorney, Gary earned his reputation by representing little-known clients
against major corporations.
Along the way he has
handled some of the largest jury awards and settlements in U.S. history,
winning more than 150 cases valued in excess of $1 million each.
Gary’s amazing success has
earned him national recognition as a leading trial attorney.
May 2002, he was featured in Ebony magazine as one of the “100 Most
Influential Black Americans.” Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of the
“Top 50 attorneys in the U.S.”
Gary has been featured in
national media publications, such as The New York Times, The Chicago
Tribune, The Boston Globe, Ebony, Jet, People, Black Enterprise, Fortune,
The New Yorker and The National Law Journal.
His remarkable legal career
and tireless work on behalf of his clients has been well documented on “60
Minutes,” “CBS Evening News,” and ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter
He has also been profiled
on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” made a guest appearance on “The
Oprah Winfrey Show,” and made a live appearance on CBS’s “The Early Show”
with Bryant Gumbel.
But Willie Gary’s
triumphant rise to the top is no overnight success story.
His vast appeal stems from
his desire to be the best and a passionate work ethic he learned through his
One of 11 children of
Turner and Mary Gary, Willie Gary was born July 12, 1947 in Eastman,
Georgia, and raised in migrant farming communities in Florida, Georgia and
His unwavering desire to
earn a college education ultimately led him to Shaw University in Raleigh,
North Carolina where the all-state high school football player would earn an
athletic scholarship after being told there was no room for him on the team.
Gary went on to become the co-captain of Shaw’s football team during the
1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree
in Business Administration, Gary went on to North Carolina Central
University in Durham, North Carolina where he earned a Juris Doctorate in
Upon earning his law
degree, Gary returned to Florida with his childhood sweetheart, Gloria, -
now his wife.
was admitted to the Florida Bar and opened his hometown’s first
African-American law firm with the help of Gloria, who assisted him at his
Gary’s practice has since
grown into the thriving national partnership known as Gary, Williams,
Finney, Lewis, Watson & Sperando, P.L., consisting of 37 attorneys, a team
of paralegals, a professional staff of 120 including six nurses, two
full-time investigators, an administrator, a certified public accountant, a
public relations director, a general counsel, human resources director, and
a full administrative staff.
The firm operates out of
posh waterfront offices located on the St. Lucie River in
historic downtown Stuart, Florida, one that oversees the Indian River
Lagoon in Fort Pierce, Florida and the other in the financial district of
Gary is a member of the
National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, American Trial
Lawyers Association, Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers Association, Martin
and St. Lucie County Bar Associations and the Million Dollar Verdict Club.
He has tried cases in 45
states and is in great demand as a motivational speaker throughout the U.S.
- delivering speeches at law schools, universities, churches, chambers of
commerce and to various groups throughout the country.
Gary often travels on his
32-passenger, custom designed Boeing 737, which carries a full flight crew
and is appropriately named “Wings of Justice II.”
The luxurious jetliner
facilitates Gary’s extensive travel schedule, allowing him to handle more
cases, while enabling him to get home faster so he can spend time with his
Gary’s scope of interest
extends far beyond the courtroom.
He is chairman of the Black
Family Channel - the nation’s only African-American owned and operated
24-hour cable channel devoted to wholesome “family values” programming aimed
at urban viewers.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia,
the network’s vision is to provide intelligent, family-oriented programming
that embraces values in business, entertainment, sports, ministries and
government. Gary also hosts a weekly talk show on the Black Family Channel
featuring personal interviews with prominent guests.
Known as a businessman,
churchman, humanitarian and philanthropist, Gary is deeply involved in
charity and civic work. He is committed to enhancing the lives of young
people through education.
In 1994, he and his wife,
Gloria, formed The Gary Foundation to carry out this formidable task. The
Gary Foundation provides scholarships, direction and other resources to
youth, so they can realize their dreams of achieving a higher education.
In 1991, Gary donated $10.1
million to his alma mater Shaw University. He has also donated hundreds of
thousands of dollars to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and
Universities throughout the U.S.
His national television
campaign, “Education is Power,” encourages children to stay in school and be
the best that they can be. In addition to being a lawyer, a philanthropist,
a media mogul and a motivational speaker, Gary continues to serve on the
board of trustees of numerous universities and foundations.
He has received honorary
doctorates from dozens of colleges and universities.
His extensive community
activities include membership in the NAACP, Florida Guardsmen, Inc., Urban
League, Civitan International, United Way of Martin County, Martin
Memorial Hospital Foundation Council, and many others.
Giving back to the community!
The entire student body of
Andrew Jackson High School had the privilege of hearing a compelling story of triumph by world renowned trial attorney and philanthropist, Willie Gary. dcpsTV was there to capture his story.
Attorney Willie E. Gary receives lifetime achievement
award during Greater Black Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala
– Trial attorney Willie E. Gary was recently honored with the Lifetime
Achievement Award during the Greater Black Chamber of Commerce of the
Carolinas Awards Gala. The star-studded event was held at the Mint Museum
Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Greater Black Chamber of Commerce
of the Carolinas honored African American leaders and legends in the
business community and presented Gary with an award for his landmark
settlements and verdicts as well as his commitment to education. Other
awardees included Virgil Cobb, President and owner of Cinda Corporation; Ron
Freeman, director of Uptown Magazine; Herb Gray, owner of Life Enhancement
Services; Robyn Hamilton, President and CEO of the Carolinas Minority
Councils, Inc.; Stoney Sellars, President and founder of Technology Project
Management, Inc. (TPM, Inc.) and Managing Partner for StoneHunt, LLC.;
Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce; John E. Harmon, Sr.,
President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey;
Larry Holman, President of Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce; Larry
D. Ivory, President and founder of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce;
and, Rev. Kojo Nantambu, Branch President of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). These men were recognized for
their outstanding achievements and contributions to society.The event was
attended by nearly 250 business leaders and chamber members from across the
country. The Greater Black Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas President,
Claude D. McDougal, was also in attendance and commended Gary for his many
humanitarian efforts and for enriching the lives of future lawyers.During
his remarks, Gary encouraged audience members to accept the task of serving
as role models for young boys and girls. “It is imperative that we help our
young people by providing them with educational resources and
opportunities,” commented Gary. “It is indeed an honor to receive this
recognition from the Greater Black Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas. I
am privileged to be a part of such a worthwhile endeavor,” Gary
continued.Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the
nation’s most powerful corporate giants, including the funeral industry. In
1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion
dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group.
In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange
County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that
Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded
Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against
Anheuser Busch.Gary is also well-known for his philanthropic endeavors. In
1994, he and his wife, Dr. Gloria Gary, founded the Gary Foundation, which
provides college scholarships to at-risk students who wish to attend
college. The Gary’s have donated millions of dollars to help Historically
Black Colleges and Universities, including $10 million to their alma mater,
Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.