[Marin County Obit Board]

Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Monday, January 07, 2008 at 04:08:22 :

Marin Independent Journal
Tuesday, July 21, 1998
Section B, page 2

Thomas Steel, civil rights lawyer, dies

Thomas Haus Steel of Mill Valley, noted civil rights attorney and leader in the gay and lesbian community, died of AIDS complications July 18 in San Francisco He was 48.

Mr. Steel championed civil rights including the representation of political activist Brian Wilson and several cases involving the federal Freedom of Information Act.

He successfully represented a San Francisco newspaper reporter who was fighting to gain access to FBI files on activities on the University of California at Berkeley campus during the free speech movement.

Both Mr. Steel and the reporter were awarded the James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism.

He was a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Hastings Law School.

Mr. Steel is survived by his domestic partner, Dr. Milton Estes of Mill Valley; his son, Jacob Estes of San Francisco; his parents, Robert and Peggy Steel of Yuba City; four brothers, John, Michael, David and Paul; and four sisters, Angela, Susie, Julie and Mary.

Visitation is set for 2 to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow in the chapel of Daphne Fernwood Mortuary in Mill Valley.

A service will be 2 p.m. tomorrow at Green Gulch Farm, 1601 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley. Burial will follow at Daphne Fernwood Cemetery in Mill Valley.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the National Lawyers Guild of the ACLU of Northern California

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