Steven G. Gey ’82
June 9, 2011
Steven G. Gey ’82 was a beloved law professor at the Florida State University College of Law, a prominent constitutional scholar, and an internationally recognized authority on religious liberties under the First Amendment. He passed away on June 9, 2010, at the age of 55.
Gey, who served as an articles editor for the Columbia Law Review while attending the Law School, published widely on free speech, constitutional law, and religious freedoms. He authored Cases and Materials on Religion and the State, a casebook dealing with the First Amendment’s religion clauses.
Gey, who was the David & Deborah Fonvielle and Donald & Janet Hinkle Professor at Florida State’s law school at the time of his death, was enormously popular with students. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2006 but continued teaching over the next two years and writing until shortly before his death. “I spend my time doing what any rational person would do with his last days on earth: writing law review articles,” Gey wrote to friends and supporters in March 2010.
Before teaching at Florida State, Gey worked in New York City at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he practiced corporate law while taking on pro bono cases, primarily for death-row inmates. The Association of the Bar of the City of New York honored him with its Thurgood Marshall Award for his work in these capital cases.
Gey is survived by his wife, Irene Trakas, his father, Walter Gey, his sister Cindy, three nieces, and one nephew.