Former Las Vegas city councilman and Clark County District Attorney Roy Woofter died Friday after a lengthy illness.
He was 79.
Friends called Woofter a founding father of Las Vegas whose career in politics and the law traversed 50 years in Southern Nevada.
"He was one of the original originals," said close friend Rossi Ralenkotter, president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Ralenkotter said Woofter, a former convention authority board member, was instrumental in bringing the minor league baseball team Las Vegas Stars, now called the 51s, to town after the Cashman Center was completed in 1983.
But Woofter was a family man too, Ralenkotter said. He had great love and affection for his wife, Diane, and his children.
Former Las Vegas mayor and defense lawyer Oscar Goodman said, "He was a real good guy, if you know what I mean. Roy always kept his word."
Woofter, whose resume included a stint as a Las Vegas Justice Court judge and as the city attorney for Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, helped found the county public defender’s office.
He was the district attorney from 1975 to 1982 and served as a board member and vice chairman of the LVCVA for seven years.
From Sheridan , Wyo., near the Bighorn National Forest, he graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, before earning a law degree from the Georgetown University School of Law, according to his family.
During law school, Woofter clerked in the administrations of two presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Woofter considered Howard Cannon, the longtime U.S. senator from Nevada, a mentor.
"He was an icon. He was one of those from the old days," District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.
Veteran defense attorneys Tom Pitaro and Ozzie Fumo described him as a gentleman who always kept his word.
"His word was his bond," Pitaro said. "You don’t find his kind too often anymore."
Max C’s Deli, the one-time popular downtown lunch spot, named a sandwich after him. The Roy Woofter contained cold tongue, Swiss cheese, corned beef, coleslaw and Russian dressing.
Woofter was an avid sports fan, but his passion was baseball, Ralenkotter said. The two bonded over the Cincinnati Reds.
He was also a big supporter of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Ralenkotter said.
Woofter helped start the UNLV football program and was a big fan of Rebel basketball, Ralenkotter said. He was one of the founding members of the Las Vegas Bowl.
He was a member of the Elks and a supporter of the Helldorado Rodeo and the local charity Help Them Walk Again Foundation.
"He will be missed in Las Vegas," Ralenkotter said.
Services have not been finalized.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.