A Celebration of Life: Peter D. Baird 1941-2009

Peter D. Baird
Peter D. Baird

Peter D. Baird, a Phoenix attorney and former Arizona Cancer Center board member and chair, has died of leukemia. Peter will be remembered by his friends at the Arizona Cancer Center as a devoted fundraiser for cancer research and fun-loving showman who lived his life with joy.

Peter graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 and went on to become a nationally acclaimed litigator. He was a member of Lewis and Roca's Commercial Litigation and Professional Liability practice groups. He argued before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Seventh Circuit, and the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Peter was involved in many high-profile cases, including a successful lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Justice’s use of informants at worship services as unconstitutional as well as litigation following the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

In addition to his noteworthy professional accomplishments, Peter was an award-winning writer and novelist. His most recent book, "Protecting Moscow from the Soviets," was a 2009 winner at the San Francisco Book Festival in the category of compilations/anthologies. He also entertained audiences throughout Arizona and across the country as “The Great Bairdini” to raise money for research at the Arizona Cancer Center.

A celebration of Peter’s life held on Sept. 12, 2009, was attended by more than 500 people including the Hon. Janet A. Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor, who fondly remembered her mentor and friend.

The faculty and staff of the Arizona Cancer Center are saddened by Peter’s loss and eternally grateful for his lifetime commitment to help prevent and cure cancer.