McGowan, Patrick F.

July 23, 1940 - February 5, 2020

Patrick F. McGowan, of Dallas, died the morning of February 5th of sudden respiratory failure caused by a prescribed medication. Pat McGowan, 79, passed surrounded by devoted family and friends, including his wife and partner of 55 years, Tricia. Pat was born in New York City on July 23, 1940, to Frank and Sonia McGowan. In 1950, the family moved to Dallas. Pat remained in Texas for the duration of his life. After graduating as Jesuit College Preparatory School’s valedictorian in 1958, Pat studied engineering and English at Rice University, graduating in 1962. He went on to The University of Texas¬†School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review and a member of the class of 1965. Pat served as Briefing Attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas 1965-66 for the late Associate Justice Zollie Steakley. One of the first antitrust lawyers in Dallas, Pat was also known for his expertise in handling appeals, intellectual property, and franchising. He was an Associate and Partner of Strasburger, Price, Kelton, Martin & Unis from 1966 until 1998, when he became the senior intellectual property attorney as a Partner of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld until his retirement. An accomplished and versatile legal mind, Pat was equally comfortable with litigation as with drafting and negotiating complex business agreements. He was instrumental in creating the Intellectual Property Section of the Dallas Bar Association, which he chaired in 2002. Pat’s life-long love of engineering and keen interest in science and technology enabled him to recognize early the legal and societal implications of the digital revolution. Tellingly, he was the first to explain the internet to a general audience of the Dallas Bar Association in the early 1990s. In addition to his strategic acumen, Pat was renowned for his professional courtesy and civility, a rare and valuable trait in an increasingly adversarial profession. Perhaps most importantly, he was a patient, considerate teacher and mentor to generations of young lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries. Pat’s commitment to equality of opportunity was demonstrated by his work to promote and support the aspirations of women in Dallas’s legal field. Pat was an altruist, in the truest sense of the word. He helped countless friends, colleagues, neighbors, and near strangers over his lifetime–not for acclaim or recognition but because it was the right thing to do. This sense of selfless kindness is his greatest legacy. Pat is survived by Patricia Neil McGowan, whom he married in 1964, two adoring daughters, Susan of New York City and Kay of Washington, D.C., and granddaughter Claire, the apple of his eye. Pat was the proud elder brother of sister Ellen Mendoza of Houston. He doted on his nephews and niece, Chris, two Davids, and Laura. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting causes near and dear to Pat’s heart: conservation and equitable access to legal education via the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and UNT Dallas College of Law, respectively.

A memorial service to celebrate Pat’s life and honor his legacy will be held at 2pm on Sunday, February 23th at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. All are welcome.


A Signature Service under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service & Funeral Home
10116 E. Northwest Highway
Dallas, Texas 75238

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