James ‘Jim’ Gilliland, Memphis lawyer and civic leader, dies

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Jim Gilliland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jim Gilliland, a Memphis lawyer, political adviser and federal appointee, died Monday at age 86.

Gilliland was born in Memphis and served in the Navy after graduating law school at Vanderbilt, according to his published obituary.

Afterward, he returned to Memphis and joined the law firm of Glankler Brown, where he became a partner and worked for 30 years. He married Lucia Flowers and had three children.

In 1993, he was nominated by President Clinton to serve as the General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture. He also served a chair of the boards for the Liberty Bowl, the Memphis Cotton Carnival, the Memphis Arts Council, LeMoyne-Owen College and the Memphis Mayoral Transition Committee under Mayor Willie Herenton.

“Jim Gilliland was first my employer, but quickly became a mentor and an inspiration for 30 years,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said on Facebook. “He was a great example of a lawyer who took leave from his private practice to serve this city and our country. During my first term as mayor, he provided me with valuable advice numerous times when we were faced with tough situations. I will miss his friendship and his counsel.”

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