John Cyril Malloy, a fixture in patent and intellectual property law in South Florida for more than five decades and an avid environmentalist, has died.
He was 83 when he died on March 2. He left behind a legacy of political, social and legal activism.
After growing up in Jackson, Tenn., Malloy moved to Chicago, where he received his law degree in 1957 from Northwestern University. Eager to establish his own firm, Malloy moved to Miami.
“He wanted to start his practice in a city that wasn’t too established but had a vibrant future,” said Malloy’s son, John Cyril Malloy III.
With its blossoming university and strong ties to Latin America, Miami was the perfect fit.
Two years after arriving in South Florida, he established his firm as one of the only registered patent attorneys in Florida. He later climbed the ranks and became president of the Federal Bar Association’s South Florida chapter.
His passion for law was matched only by his passion for politics and social change.
Malloy was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and also helped to get Old Cutler Road designated as a historic highway. He was a member of the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee and served as chairman of President Gerald Ford's campaign in then-Dade County.
In 1972, after a stunning victory over Janet Reno, Malloy was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where he served for over a decade. The political arena allowed Malloy to tackle another issue very dear to his heart: the preservation of South Florida’s pristine waters. Thus, he co-sponsored the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve Act, which now protects 67,000 acres of submerged lands.
“He had a great love of the ocean, and he wanted to see this great bay of ours protected,” Malloy’s son said.
Malloy also passed a law that allowed immigrants to take their professional licensing exams in their native language — a feat that earned him high praise from the Cuban exile community and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, who awarded him the key to the city in 2009.
In an effort to pass on some of his knowledge, Malloy served as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where he taught patent and intellectual property law from 1978 to 1985.
His law firm Malloy & Malloy, once a “one-man shop,” has since grown into a 12-lawyer boutique that now represents local, national and international clients, including the University of Miami, according to his son.
Malloy is survived by his wife, six children and six grandchildren.
A viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Stanfill Funeral Home in Pinecrest.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Malloy Memorial Scholarship for students to pursue patent and intellectual property law at the University of Miami School of Law. Donations may be sent to: the University of Miami School of Law, Office of Law Development and Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, FL 33124. Donations can also be made online at www.law.miami.edu/malloy.