Francis X. Pugh Sr., who died suddenly last week, served Maryland as an assistant attorney general for nearly three decades. His principal role, like that of many of his colleagues, was to give legal advice to his state-agency clients — guidance that established the rules of the road by which state government functioned.
Frank did his job with skill, creativity, integrity and sound judgment. He was a model and a mentor for our younger lawyers — and, I should add, for the three attorneys general he served under.
There is a another dimension to Frank's legacy — his ready wit — that those of us who loved him will always cherish.
Frank was a man of mirth. He was toastmaster at innumerable office celebrations, and his seemingly spontaneous barbs were unfailingly on the mark. (I came to understand that part of the attorney general's job was to serve as Frank's straight man.) And he often turned his wit on himself, accompanied by that shoulder-shaking chuckle that was his trademark.
Frank never entered a room without producing a smile on the faces of those present. As his friends share our recollections of Frank, the smile lingers but we feel the loss deeply.
Stephen H. Sachs, Baltimore
The writer was Maryland attorney general from 1979 to 1987.