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Former Texas Solicitor General Greg Coleman Dies in Plane Crash

Greg Coleman
Image courtesy Kate Sheets
Greg Coleman speaking in Akron, Ohio in 2009. The former Solicitor General died in a plane crash in Florida last night.

The first Solicitor General of Texas, Greg Coleman, died in a plane crash yesterday when the Piper PA-46 Malibu he was flying in went down as the pilot tried to land it at an airport in Destin, Fla.

Coleman lived in Cedar Park and worked at the law firm YetterColeman.  The firm posted this statement to its website today.

Greg died November 23, 2010 in a plane crash in Florida, where he and his family were attending their annual Thanksgiving holiday. In all that he did, Greg exemplified the highest values of our profession - an abiding sense of decency and fair play, a strong belief in public service, and a tireless dedication to his clients and professional colleagues. These values were manifest throughout Greg’s career, including as the first Solicitor General of Texas, a Supreme Court clerk, and a brilliant advocate. More than this, Greg was a devoted husband and father, and a man of deep and sincere religious faith. He inspired deep loyalty in each of us, and we will remember forever his graciousness, humility, and charity. Our prayers are especially with Greg's family during this difficult time.

Coleman's bio on the YetterColeman website says he got his undergrad degree from Texas A&M University in 1989 and graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1992. He went on to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas.

Coleman served as the state's first Texas Solicitor General from 1999 to 2001. The position was created to act as the state's top appellate lawyer.

Current Solicitor General Jim Ho told the website that Coleman was hugely influential on his life.

Jim Ho, the state’s current solicitor general, says he has known Coleman for about 10 years. “He was a mentor to me,” Ho says. “I don’t use the term mentor lightly.” Ho writes in an e-mail, “Greg was a devoted husband and father, dear friend, loyal mentor and exceptional lawyer. This is a deeply sad day.”

A Texas A&M administrator was also killed in the crash. KBTX-TV in Bryan-College Station reports that A&M's assistant vice president for research services Charlene Black Miller died. Authorities told the TV station that she was Coleman's mother-in-law.

The third person to die was 58-year-old James Patrick Black, also of Texas. His hometown hasn't yet been released.

The Destin Log has pictures of the wreckage recovery on its website. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.