Fred Leonhardt died of an apparent heart attack, firm says

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Fred Leonhardt‘s law firm said the 65-year-old died at home “of an apparent heart attack,” according to a Saturday afternoon press release.

Leonhardt, a longtime lawyer-lobbyist, was based in Orlando but was well-known in Tallahassee. (A post from earlier today on his passing is here.)

“We ask that you keep Fred and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” said J. Charles Gray, founder of the GrayRobinson firm where Leonhardt was a shareholder.

Biff Marshall, GrayRobinson’s president and managing shareholder, added that the firm will share details of “plans to celebrate Fred’s life and accomplishments as they become available.”

The statement also included details about Leonhardt’s career:

He focused his practice on dealing with federal, state and local governments on behalf of his clients.

He had a significant background in state and local government law matters, including permitting and procurement.

He had been a member of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development organization, for 12 years.

He once served as senior vice president and general counsel of Florida Water Services, previously the state’s largest private water and wastewater utility.

He was chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Floridians for Better Transportation, the Orlando area Chamber of Commerce and The Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.

He served on the board of directors of the James Madison Institute, a privately-funded public policy think tank in Tallahassee, Fla.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at