Civil rights attorney George Barrett dies at 86: NASHVILLE — George Barrett, the irrepressible, octogenarian civil rights attorney who continued to work full-time on behalf of voters, laborers, investors and other groups until earlier this month, died Tuesday night. He was 86.
The cause of death was acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, which sent Barrett to the hospital about two weeks ago, a family spokeswoman said.
Barrett cut a self-assured figure in Nashville's legal community for more than 50 years after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1957 and taking a job at the law firm of Cecil Branstetter, who was becoming one of the South's leading labor lawyers. Routinely calling himself "The Citizen," Barrett took on authority figures with an attitude of righteous indignation whenever he thought they were abusing their power.