Arthur Makadon, former Chair of Ballard Spahr and Philadelphia lawyer extraordinaire, died at age 70 on July 24 after a short bout with lung cancer.

Mark Stewart, Mr. Makadon's friend, protégé, and successor as Chair of the firm, told The Legal: "If someone were writing a history of Ballard Spahr, he would be the leading man. His influence on the firm and his role in its success is unfathomable. He's just been part of everything." He described Mr. Makadon further: "He liked to be behind the scenes and thinking about the strategic direction of a campaign or how a matter could best be handled politically. He was never in the middle of the fray. He was always outside of that but having an influence on it."

Mr. Makadon was known for his candor, wit, and high intellect. Mr. Stewart thought it fair to characterize him as "generous, warm, funny and kind," and loyal to a small circle of close and trusted friends. "He would rarely go through the niceties of pretending to be enamored with someone he wasn't enamored with," said Mr. Stewart. As a mentor, Mr. Makadon was also known to be very forgiving. Mr. Stewart noted, "He was not expecting people to be perfect." Also, notably, "He made this firm not be a stuffy place. He made it a place where people laughed."

Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell met Mr. Makadon in the '70s, when both were assistant district attorneys, and they remained close. Governor Rendell said of his supporter and trusted adviser, "He was the same as an assistant DA as he was a month ago. He was brilliant. He was impetuous. He was irreverent." Mr. Makadon was "so instinctively bright," according to Governor Rendell, that he lent critical perspective to political issues. Governor Rendell said Mr. Makadon "feared nothing and no one" and called news of his death "absolutely devastating."


Edward G. Rendell
Mark S. Stewart