We are deeply saddened by the passing on May 17 of Ralph Knowles, our friend and board member from 1995–2014, and honorary board member since 2014. At various times during his board tenure he served as Vice Chair, Vice Chair and General Counsel, and First Vice Chair. He was particularly active in referring Legal Momentum clients to lawyers in Georgia and in support of Legal Momentum’s Family Initiative Program. Ralph also served on the national Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union and its state affiliates in Georgia and Alabama, the chapter he helped found.
Throughout his career, Ralph was a passionate champion of the cause of justice and equality, and a man dedicated to women’s rights. Beginning in the 1960s—when, as student body president at the University of Alabama, he clashed with George Wallace over segregation—and continuing with his leadership of some of our nation's most significant class actions that resulted in landmark constitutional decisions on behalf of prisoners, mental health patients, and others, Ralph never wavered in his commitment to protecting vulnerable people. He was widely respected in the legal community, and is remembered by friends and colleagues for his exemplary legal skill and personal kindness, bravery, and integrity. A committed feminist, Ralph twice made major home and job moves to follow his wife, Marjorie Fine Knowles, in her career. Our thoughts are with Marjorie and the rest of his family.