WACO (July 23, 2012)—Gordon Cowden, 51, who died early Friday in the shooting rampage in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., was the son of longtime Central Texas lawyer George M. Cowden, who graduated from Baylor University in 1953 and the Baylor Law School in 1959 and represented Waco and McLennan County in the Texas House in the early 1960s.
Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben issued a statement Monday in which he called Gordon Cowden “a son, brother and uncle in the wonderful and distinguished three-generation Cowden family of Baylor lawyers.”
Cowden’s brother George Cowden III also graduated from the law school in 1978 and his nephew, George Cowden IV, graduated this year.
"Words are not adequate to express the senselessness of the random violence that took the life of Gordon Cowden and so many others in Aurora, and left so many injured,” Toben said.
“The prayers of the entire Baylor Law and Baylor University communities go out in upholding the family and all affected in this time of tragic loss,” he said.
Gordon Cowden, who had taken his two teenage children to see the new Batman movie, “Dark Knight Rises,” was the oldest of the 12 people killed in the shooting, according to published reports.
The two teenagers were not harmed, his family said.
A statement issued by the family described Cowden, an Austin native, as “a true Texas gentleman that loved life and his family,” and said he was a “loving father, outdoorsman and small business owner.”
“A quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle,” the statement said.
“The family of Gordon Cowden wishes to express appreciation for the concern and prayers offered to us during this very difficult time. Our hearts go out to everyone that has been harmed by this senseless tragedy,” the statement said.
George M. Cowden is of counsel to the Naman, Howell Smith & Lee law firm in Austin, according to the law firm’s website.
His online resume shows he served in the Texas House from 1963 to 1965, as first assistant attorney general in 1967, as State Board of Insurance chairman in 1968, and on the Public Utility Commission as a commissioner form 1975 to 1983 and as chairman from 1977 to 1982.
He’s a former member of the Baylor Board of Regents and is chairman of the school’s University Development Council.
In 1989 he was named Baylor Lawyer of the Year and in 1990 received the university’s W. R. White Meritorious Service Award.