Alan L. Reed died on May 12 after complications from heart failure. He was 86

Alan was born to Edward and Caroline Reed in 1933, After graduating from The Hill School, Alan secured his BA in Philosophy from Williams College in 1955. As a Naval Intelligence officer, he guided pilots on missions from Taipei, Taiwan. Alan used these skills to secure a blind date with Louise Heron in San Francisco in 1956, while stationed at Moffett Field. Alan’s persistence after several brush-offs led to a first meeting on his birthday, Dec. 8. Seven months later, Louise and Alan married in Chicago. Alan then pursued his law degree from Harvard (1961) and accepted an offer to join Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia, where he made partner in 1969.

His law career across four decades spanned many facets: an early focus on corporate and public law, counsel to emerging and established companies in Philadelphia, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, selected as firm chair in 1992 and 1993, and ultimately managing partner of the Philadelphia office from 1997-1999.

Alan’s work in the Government Regulation Section included advising well-established Philadelphia companies including PECO Energy, Pennsylvania-American Water Works, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., and the Philadelphia Water Company, to name a few. He played an important role in the exponential growth and success of ML&B from 72 lawyers when he joined in 1961 to 1,200 lawyers worldwide when he retired in 2000. To his clients and his firm, Alan was a supportive and principled colleague, a forward-thinking strategist, and an inspiring mentor.

Above all else, Alan was civic-minded and devoted to the rich cultural life of Philadelphia. In the last years of his tenure at Morgan Lewis, Alan marshalled his network of contacts and his passion for the rule of law as the vice chairman of The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a “living” museum dedicated to honoring the role of our Constitution in America’s history and future. He inspired ML&B to celebrate the firm’s 125th anniversary with a leading gift to the Constitutions Center.

Alan also launched “The Power of an Hour,” challenging law firms across the country to donate an hourly fee for each lawyer in honor of the Constitution. He partnered with Louise in supporting many cultural institutions in Philadelphia, chief among them were the Franklin Institute, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Both Louise and Alan were recognized for their outstanding philanthropic leadership in 2007 by the Philadelphia Arts and Business Council. Alan also served on the boards of The Foreign Policy Research Institute, The Rittenhouse Trust Company and The Valley Forge Specialized Educational Services Corporation, which operates The Vanguard School, where he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve educational opportunities.

Alan was also an avid athlete across many fields of play. In high school and college, he played football and wrestled.

Alan grew up loving his summers sailing and competitive racing on Vineyard waters. Back on land, a favorite story to share was in the summer of 1948, at age 15 after winning a dance contest in Edgartown, his prize was presented to him by Jimmy Cagney.

Eventually, Alan brought his growing family to the Island. Picking up golf later in life but bringing the same competitive edge he did to racing sailboats, Alan had a special place in his heart for the Edgartown Golf Club where his mother once made her only hole in one.

In addition to the Edgartown Golf Club, he and his wife were members of the Edgartown Yacht Club and Reading Room.

Alan and Louise supported the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, as well as the moving of the Gay Head Light and ongoing lighthouse restoration.

To quote a friend: “Alan set very high standards for all of us that follow in his wake.”

Alan is survived by his wife of 62 years, Louise, daughters Allyson (Ally) Reed, Story Reed Leonard and son-in-law Jim Leonard, their son Edward Reed and late daughter-in-law Virgina White, and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his older siblings Edward Jr. and Caroline.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, or any other civic cause of your choosing.

A date for a memorial service has yet to be determined.