Joe Jamail, Namesake of Texas Aquatic Center, Passes Away

Famous trial lawyer Joe Jamail, who was also one of the major benefactors of the University of Texas Aquatic Center, has passed away at age 90.

Jamail was renowned attorney based out of the Houston area. Known as the “King of Torts,” Jamail won multiple cases worth more than $100 million, and brought in what was (at the time) the largest settlement in history in 1985 – a more than $10 billion case between oil companies Pennzoil and Texaco.

Jamail was also an avid sports fan, and a major donor to the University of Texas, his alma mater.

Joe Jamail and his wife Lee were the major donors behind multiple buildings on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Most notably to the swimming community, the Texas pool still bears their names. The Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center has hosted multiple major U.S. Swimming events, most recently, the 2014 men’s NCAA Championships.

The University of Texas had statements from its current and former Athletic Directors memorializing Jamail’s passing:

From Mike Perrin on behalf of Texas Athletics:

Joe Jamail was a giant of a man, who made a huge impact in all facets of life. His contributions to The University of Texas are a lasting legacy and testament to his never ending quest to give back and support activities, the law and sports he believed in. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Joe’s family. With them, we share grief and a sense of loss in his passing. But, we also share our joy of having had him as a major part of so many lives.

From DeLoss Dodds:

I don’t think The University of Texas has ever had a better friend than Joe Jamail. When something needed to get done on campus, you could count on him to help. Joe wasn’t a guy wanting to give advice or get his way—he just wanted to know what he could do to be part of the solution. Joe was a dear friend of mine and our coaches. He was very close to Darrell and Edith Royal and Mack and Sally Brown. He shared in our national championships and we are proud his name is on our field — it’s very deserving.

Perrin is the current Athletics Director at Texas and Dodds was the former men’s Athletic Director. You can find the press release here.

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4 years ago

Here is a link to the article Texas Monthly published on Joe Jamail in January 2015. Joe was a very colorful character and this article is well worth reading.

DC Guy
Reply to  PsychoDad
4 years ago

That was a great read. To say that Joe Jamail is a colorful character is an understatement!

Joel Lin
4 years ago

Heaven will take some new getting used to with Joe Jamail holding court. Rest easy, Joe.

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Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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