Story at a glance

  • F. Lee Bailey died on Thursday, June 3, in a Georgia hospice center at the age of 87.
  • Bailey was a former private investigator and renowned criminal defense attorney.
  • During his career, Bailey worked a multitude of high-profile trials, including those of Albert DeSalvo, Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson.

F. Lee Bailey, one of the most renowned criminal defense attorneys in the United States, died on Thursday, June 3, in a Georgia hospice center at the age of 87. His son Bendrix Bailey confirmed his death but didn’t disclose the cause.

Both a former private investigator and criminal defense attorney, Bailey was known for his extensive pretrial preparations and his frequent appearances on talk shows such as “The Tonight Show.”

During his time as a criminal defense lawyer, Bailey worked a multitude of high-profile cases. He represented sexual assault defendant Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to being the “Boston Strangler,” a serial killer who had been wanted for the killings of 13 women in the 1960s.


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In 1976, he represented newspaper fortune heiress Patty Hearst in a trial for an armed bank robbery she committed during her kidnapping and captivity under the radical Symbionese Liberation Army.

Possibly Bailey’s most infamous case was that of his role on the “dream team” representing O.J. Simpson in the racially charged murder trial for the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman in 1994. Simpson was acquitted.

However, Bailey also had his own share of legal troubles throughout his life, having been charged with perjury, contempt of court and even being disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts in 2001 and 2003, respectively. 

Bailey is survived by his two sons from his first marriage, Bendrix and Bryan; his son from his second marriage, Scott; his sister, Nancy; and five grandchildren.


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Published on Jun 03, 2021