Mark L. Hart, Jr. is best remembered as a gifted college athlete and co-founder of a major Fort Worth, Texas law firm who shared a passion with his wife for the arts and charitable causes. As managing partner of the Kelly Hart & Hallman law firm he co-founded in 1979, he was credited for running all of the administrative activities and “keeping the law firm together.” Under his steady management, the firm grew to over 150 lawyers.
His prowess as an athlete began early. At Paschal High School in Fort Worth, he lettered three times in baseball and twice in basketball. At The University of Texas at Austin, Hart was a pitcher one year for the UT baseball team but soon focused on intramural sports. A member of the intramural teams of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Texas Cowboys, he proved himself a force to be reckoned with in football, softball, volleyball and track. He quarterbacked the Kappa Sigs and the legendary Legal Eagles to a number of victories and was named to All-Intramural teams an astounding 11 times.
Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UT in 1965, graduated with honors from the UT School of Law in 1968, and served as associate editor of the Texas Law Review. He was listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” from 1989–2016. Mark is most notably known as the co-founder and managing partner of the Kelly Hart & Hallman law firm in Fort Worth because of his steady management that led to the success and growth of the firm. His law career was disrupted during this time when he was tragically diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, an affliction he was able to live with for 16 years. He succumbed to the disease on Christmas Eve 2015 at the age of 72.
Mark’s memory lives on at the University with the Mark L. Hart Jr. Endowed Chair in Corporate and Securities Law at the UT School of Law and the Mark L. Hart, Jr. Endowed Scholarship that is awarded annually to two deserving student employees of Recreational Sports.