The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our most esteemed founders and friends, William Edlund, on December 24, 2016, at the age of 87. Among the earliest supporters of the Law Center, Bill’s insight and generosity helped serve as a foundation for the organization, and his presence on our board of directors will be greatly missed.
Bill will be remembered as a bold leader in San Francisco’s legal community and a courageous voice in the fight to end gun violence. He served as a prominent litigator at Pillsbury Madison & Sutro for more than 40 years and maintained an active practice at Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Tarrant until he fell ill in late 2016.
After the July 1, 1993, assault weapon massacre at the law firm Pettit and Martin in San Francisco, which killed eight and wounded another six, a group of local attorneys took action and formed the Legal Community Against Violence. Bill served as a founding board member, and spent more than two decades building the leadership and support base for our organization, helping us expand from a local to a national policy group. He also served as board president from 2012–13, overseeing our historic 20th anniversary celebration and our rebranding from LCAV to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Over the course of 23 years, Bill worked closely with a great number of Law Center staff and board members, and learning of his death, many of them expressed deep gratitude for having had the opportunity to know Bill and witness his extraordinary commitment to civic leadership.
“Bill’s passing is a loss for the Law Center and for all of us who were fortunate enough to know him and work with him. For the 11 years that I’ve been executive director, and more than a decade before that, Bill was one of the most engaged board members, stalwart supporters, passionate advocates, and loyal friends to me and to this organization,” said Robyn Thomas, the Law Center’s executive director. “His contribution to our fight for a safer America will never be forgotten and his memory will live on through our work and commitment.”
“I’m deeply saddened by Bill’s passing. Bill will be remembered as a kind, thoughtful man who worked tirelessly to support the Law Center and the cause of gun violence prevention in the more than 20 years that I knew him,” said Julie Leftwich, legal director at the Law Center, who joined the organization as its first staff attorney in 1995. “All of us here feel very grateful for his leadership and friendship and will miss him dearly.”
We are deeply thankful that Bill’s family listed the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence as the organization to which donations may be directed in lieu of flowers. If you would like to make a gift in Bill’s memory, visit our donation page.