Paul G. Bower, a prominent attorney, environmentalist and advocate for the needy, has died. He was 70.
Bower died Dec. 31 at his home in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke.
A partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher until his retirement in 1993, Bower specialized in antitrust and entertainment law and federal civil litigation.
Bower also served on the staff of the Kerner Commission, the informal name for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which was established by President Johnson to investigate civil unrest in several American cities, including Los Angeles, in the mid-1960s.
During that same period, Bower took a leave of absence from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to serve in the Justice Department as a special assistant under Deputy Atty. Gen. Warren Christopher.
In the early 1990s, Bower served as an advisor to the investigative panel charged by the Los Angeles Police Commission with reviewing the LAPD after the verdict in the Rodney King case.
A strong advocate of legal aid for the poor, Bower was active in the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s and served a term as the group's president.
His concerns included environmental issues. For the last 21 years, he served on the board of directors of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, now called Earthjustice.
Born in Chicago, Bower graduated from Rice University with a major in geology and a minor in physics. He did postgraduate work in geochemistry at Caltech. But he soon discovered that law was his interest and moved on to Stanford, serving on the Stanford Law Review before graduating in 1963.
After retiring from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, he continued many of his pro bono activities. He was an avid backpacker, skier and biker until he suffered the stroke in 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Erleen Thurlow Bower of Pacific Palisades; daughters Stephanie, Julienne and Aimee Bower; and two granddaughters. He is also survived by his sisters, Judith Henning of Denver and Miriam Goulding Westfelt of Rockville, Md.
A memorial gathering is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday in Stewart Hall at Temescal Gateway Park, Temescal Canyon Boulevard at Sunset, in Pacific Palisades.
Donations in his name would be welcome at Earthjustice, 426 17th St., Oakland, CA 94612-2820, or the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, 1102 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019.