Leo "Corky" Doyle, attorney and lobbyist, dies

He had worked for the insurance industry and enjoyed golf

  • Leo "Corky" Doyle
Leo "Corky" Doyle
December 27, 2010|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Leo W. "Corky" Doyle, a retired attorney and lobbyist who represented the insurance industry before the Maryland General Assembly, died of lung cancer Dec. 17 at his Crofton home. He was 81.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Inglewood Avenue in Hamilton, he was the son of J. Joseph Doyle, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. attorney, and Mary Meyer Doyle, a homemaker.

He attended St. Dominic's Parochial School and was a 1947 Polytechnic Institute graduate. He served in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. While stationed in Southern California, he met his future wife, the former Donna Gene Rogers.

After his military service, he joined the General Electric Supply Co. on Barclay Street. While working there, he earned a degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

"He had a 9-to-5 job and walked to his classes at night. He had a strong desire to become a lawyer and put in some long hours," said his brother, Larry Doyle of Carney.

After passing the Maryland bar examination in 1956, Mr. Doyle found that the Social Security Administration was hiring lawyers. He took a job adjudicating disability claims at the federal agency. Family members said he found the job did not challenge him sufficiently, and he sought another line of legal work.

In 1967, he moved to Chicago and became assistant general counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers. Mr. Doyle represented numerous auto insurance firms.

"His keen intellect and sharp wit made a lasting impression," said his sister, Dolly Rizzi of Perry Hall. "He was bright, and he was a comedian, too. He loved to laugh and made everyone else laugh."

In 1976, he returned to Maryland and settled in Crofton. He told family members he wanted a location that would be near a golf course so he could entertain clients based in Annapolis. He became a lobbyist and represented the insurance industry in the General Assembly. He retired in 1993 and remained a consultant until 2003.

Family members said he often conferred with his brother, James Joseph Doyle Jr., also a lobbyist and attorney who was a well-known figure in Annapolis. They were known as the Doyle Boys.

"They worked together on insurance issues, but the two brothers had their own separate clients," his other brother said. "But as siblings, they were very close personally."

News articles from the 1970s and 1980s recounted how Mr. Doyle, who was a member of the Crofton Country Club and played golf, often used the game to fraternize with legislators and members of the insurance industry. He played golf daily until recently.

He was a 60-year member of the Hamilton post of the American Legion. He also belonged to the Sons of the American Legion, an organization he joined because his father had fought in World War I. Mr. Doyle also belonged to the American Bar Association and the Professional Golf Association.

Mr. Doyle was an avid Orioles fan and had followed the team since its move back into the major leagues in 1954. He was also a Baltimore Colts season-ticket holder.

A Mass was offered Dec. 20 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Crofton, where he was a member.

In addition to his brother and sister, survivors include his wife of 55 years; three sons, Patrick Doyle of Dundalk, Joseph Doyle of Millersville and James Doyle of Arnold; three daughters, Kathleen Wong of Modesto, Calif., Dolores Provins of Glen Burnie and Donna Colleen Doyle of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren. His brother James died in 2008.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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