From the San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, January 21, 1970. Leo was a great-grandson of Patrick and Johannah Hogan through their daughter Margaret and her son James, Jr.:

Criminal Lawyer

Leo A. Sullivan Is Dead at 74

Leo A. Sullivan, for nearly 40 years one of the Bay Area's most flamboyant and controversial lawyers, died Tuesday night at San Leandro Memorial Hospital.

The 74-year-old Mr. Sullivan had entered the hospital two weeks earlier for treatment of a heart ailment and death was attributed to cardiac arrest.

Repeatedly during the course of his astonishing career Mr. Sullivan collapsed in courtrooms, felled by "heart attacks". Some of these, he later admitted, were spurious, feigned deliberately to extricate himself from situations that offered no off-the-cuff solutions.

Some, however, were bona fide and the sight of Mr. Sullivan toppling out of his chair to the floor terrified countless juries.


Mr. Sullivan's problems were more than physical. Described variously as a "bull in a china shop" and as the "P.T. Barnum of the courtrooms", he was cited repeatedly for contempt and on several occasions was dispatched unceremoniously to jail.

His apologies to irate judges were usually as belligerent as the offenses that jailed him in the first place.

A native of Eau Claire [sic], Wis., Mr. Sullivan served in the Navy during World War I, then studied law and was admitted to practice here in 1921. One of his early partners was the equally widely known Oakland attorney, Myron Harris.


Noted for his rapier wit and searing cross examinations, Mr. Sullivan became famous as a criminal lawyer, defending murderers, gamblers and bootleggers on both sides of the bay.

One of his more remarkable exploits came late in 1948 when Oakland police raided an alleged Chinese lottery establishment, seizing three tons of marked and unmarked tickets.

In strangled tones Mr. Sullivan informed the court a terrible mistake had been made.

The establishment, he said, was the headquarters for recruiting a Chinese expeditionary force to send to China to fight in behalf of beleaguered Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. The tickets, Mr. Sullivan declaimed, were no more than draft cards.