Law School Mourns the Death of John W. Mooty (’44)

April 23, 2015

John W. Mooty, who graduated first in his Law School class (’44) and became a first-class leader in law, business and philanthropy, died April 17, 2015, in Edina, Minn. He was 92.

Born in Adrian, Minn., Mooty graduated from Worthington High School and earned a BSL degree at the University of Minnesota and his J.D. at the Law School. His work ethic and dedication to community were already apparent, as he served on the Minnesota Law Review and received the Order of the Coif. His first job, practicing corporate and merger-and-acquisition law at the firm now known as Gray Plant Mooty, lasted 70 years.

Highly respected for his business acumen, Mooty rescued two iconic brands from near oblivion. In 1959, he became part owner of and general counsel to National Car Rental, reversing the company’s downslide before selling it in 1969. He did the same for International Dairy Queen, serving as board chairman for more than 20 years before Warren Buffett acquired the company in 1998. He served on the boards of numerous corporations, including Faribault Woolen Mill, and was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in 2003.

Among his many civic contributions, Mooty was president of the Citizens League, Rotary Club, and St. John’s Lutheran Church, chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Education, and acting chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, as well as a frequent campaign chair and convention delegate. He coached his sons’ baseball teams and was deeply committed to both family and alma mater, where he presided over the Alumni Association, chaired the Law School’s capital fund campaign, and received the University’s Alumni Service, Outstanding Achievement, and Regent Awards. A professorship in honor of Mooty was established at the Law School in 1990, and Professor Paul M. Vaaler holds the John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law and Business.

“John Mooty was one of the Law School’s most distinguished alumni: a legendary lawyer, businessman, philanthropist, and public citizen. His wisdom, generosity, and leadership will be greatly missed,” said Dean David Wippman.

Mooty is survived by his wife of 43 years, Jane Glaser Mooty; children David (’78), Bruce (’80), Charles, Barbara Glaser, and Chip Glaser, and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Law School, N.C. Little Hospice, or Friendship Village of Bloomington Memorial Fund. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 27, at Colonial Church of Edina, 6200 Colonial Way, Edina, Minn. There will be a private interment at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Visitation will be Sunday, April 26 from 2-6 p.m. at the Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel, 5000 W. 50th St., Edina, Minn.

John W. Mooty (’44)
John W. Mooty (’44)

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