Ed Masry, Erin Brockovich Mentor, Dies at Age 73
LOS ANGELES -- Edward L. Masry, the lawyer made famous in the movie "Erin Brockovich," has died, his son said Tuesday. Masry was 73.
Masry died of complications of diabetes at 11:30 p.m. Monday at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in suburban Thousand Oaks, son Louis Masry said. Ed Masry had resigned from the Thousand Oaks City Council on Nov. 30 due to ill health.
Masry and Erin Brockovich, an unlikely self-trained legal assistant, started down the road to fame by winning a $333 million settlement on behalf of more than 600 residents of the town of Hinkley, Calif., who claimed that Pacific Gas & Electric tanks leaked carcinogenic poisons into groundwater supplies.
The legal team's efforts were depicted in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts in the title role and actor Albert Finney as Masry.
"My father had a long career of over 40 years as an attorney," Louis Masry said. "Even prior to the movie `Erin Brockovich' he was always fighting for the underdog."
"Mr. Masry's passing is also a great loss to our community," Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pena said in a statement posted on the city's Web site.
Masry was born on July 29, 1932, in Patterson, N.J., and moved with his family to California in 1940. He went to high school and college in the San Fernando Valley, the served in the Army from 1952-54.
According to a biography from his law firm, Masry & Vititoe, Masry attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, and although he never received a bachelor's degree, he was admitted to Loyola Law School and earned a degree there.
He started his law practice in Los Angeles in 1961.
Masry is survived by his wife, Joette, five children and 10 grandchildren.
A private service was being arranged for Wednesday. A public memorial will be held later.
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