Journalism Advisory Council member Steven A. Hirsch dies

Steven A. Hirsch

Hirsch was an avid outdoorsman. (Photos courtesy of Quarles & Brady)

Phoenix attorney Steven A. Hirsch, a UA School of Journalism alum and a member of the school’s Journalism Advisory Council, died on Dec. 1. He was 61.

Hirsch, a strong supporter of the journalism program who purchased a table each year for students and faculty at the school’s Zenger Award for Press Freedom dinner, was diagnosed in April with pancreatic cancer. He died, surrounded by family, at the Hospice of the Valley's Sherman Home on the Mayo Clinic Hospital campus in Phoenix.

He was inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame on Oct. 27 in Phoenix, a week after being honored by the William E. Morris Institute for Justice as part of the organization’s Phoenix benefit and 20th anniversary celebration.

“Steve was a very thoughtful and generous person, always looking for how he could contribute — to classes, his profession, the community — in meaningful ways,” said Jacqueline Sharkey, former director of the School of Journalism. “He will be deeply missed.”

After graduating with his journalism degree in 1977, Hirsch received his law degree with high distinction from UA in 1980. He began a distinguished legal career and served in several leadership roles, including former president and board member of the UA Law College Association.

John D’Anna (’83), a member of the Journalism Advisory Council and Page One editor at the Arizona Republic, worked with Hirsch on several UA events in Phoenix.

“One thing that was always clear was that even though he was a gifted and very successful attorney, Steve was still a journalist at heart," D’Anna said. “You could tell this because he got way more animated telling stories from his newspapering days than he did talking about law, even after he’d won a big case.

“He was a big guy with a big heart and a big love for our school. My heart goes out to his family.”

According to his law firm, Quarles & Brady, Hirsch practiced in the areas of business law, utility law and commercial litigation and was a certified real estate specialist by the State Bar of Arizona. He practiced regularly before the Arizona Corporation Commission in ratemaking proceedings and other administrative proceedings affecting utilities. He also brought actions against governmental agencies arising out of zoning, permitting and similar land use disputes.

"Steve was committed to excellence in everything he did,” said Quarles & Brady Phoenix Office Managing Partner Nicole Stanton, a UA Law alum, in the firm’s website memoriam to Hirsch. “It showed in his work, his community service and his relationships.”

Hirsch was listed in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers of America, Southwest Super Lawyers and Arizona Business Magazine, and was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Hirsch served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors, rising to second vice president, and held positions with the Maricopa County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Arizona Bar Foundation. He also was the founder and former president and director of the Morris Institute for Justice.

“We will miss the ring of his wit and laughter, his reasoned experience and wisdom, and his infectious energy and positivity,” the Quarles & Brady website said.

Born on Oct. 22, 1955, in Phoenix, Hirsch was an avid outdoorsman. His father, Robert “Bob” Hirsch, was an acclaimed outdoors columnist for the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, as well as a photographer and broadcaster. Steve’s mother, Mary Hirsch, was a naturalist and art illustrator of outdoor books, art and posters.

Steven Hirsch was director and president for Wildlife for Tomorrow for 16 years and served as a Scoutmaster and board member for the Boy Scouts of America, where he received multiple awards. He was president of the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation, the charitable arm of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

He is survived by his wife, Cherylee E. Hirsch; sons Lou and Steven; siblings Eric, Bill, Amy and Ann; and numerous nieces and nephews. Services are Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Glendale Road.

The family asks that memorial donations in Steven Hirsch's honor be made to Wildlife for Tomorrow or Boy Scouts of America – Grand Canyon Council.

In addition, the family is gathering a compilation of stories which "celebrates Steve's energetic, generous, and fun-loving character." Rememberances can be sent to

Published Date: 

12/02/2016 - 1:12pm