George A. Hrdlicka - September 11, 1931 – December 31, 2020
George Hrdlicka, a founding name shareholder of our firm, passed away on December 31, 2020. Those of us fortunate to interact with George knew him as the most selfless, kind, brilliant, yet humble person imaginable. His spirit and desire to be the best lawyer, mentor, and human being was incredibly infectious and lives on in each of us who knew him.
George grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He started his law career in the Honors Program at the Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, D.C., in the late 1950s, where he represented the Internal Revenue Service in the Federal Courts throughout the Midwest. In 1965, former DOJ colleague Harold Chamberlain enticed George down to Houston where they co-founded what is now the Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry law firm.
A respected leader, successful litigator, and approachable mentor, George placed the best interests of the firm ahead of his own, including suppressing his own compensation to allow our firm to grow. While it was clear how much his clients appreciated his talents as a great tax attorney, it was even more apparent how much they loved him as a person.
George taught at University of Houston Law Center for 30 years as an adjunct professor in Partnership Tax. One of his rare gifts was to break down complicated tax concepts and teach them in a simple way that students, young attorneys, and clients could easily understand.
George was not defined by the law alone. An avid adventurer, he participated in treks in the Alaskan tundra, ventured on cross-country motorcycle trips and climbed mountains all over the world. He summited Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 70 and made it to first base camp of Mount Everest at 72.
George left us with a great sense of loss, but also an extraordinary legacy of kindness, intellect, hard work, insightful calm thinking, modesty, respect for others, a witty sense of humor, adventure, love, and a history of generously enriching others’ lives.