Remembering Jack Quinn (1949-2024): D.C. Lobbyist, Influencer and Family Man


Everyone in town knows Jack and Susanna Quinn. The duo were a fixture at many balls, galas, and paramount events in the city. Sure, Jack and Susanna were a power couple, but they were kind, generous, and their lives revolved around what was most important to them—their family.

Today, Washington, D.C. is mourning the loss of one half of this glamorous yet down-to-earth, elegant and family-oriented couple. Jack Quinn, former White House counsel and lawyer, died May 8 at the age of 74.

Jack was born on August 16, 1949, to a power plant manager father and homemaker mother. He was the first in his family to attend college and received his bachelor’s in government in 1971 and graduated from Georgetown University’s law school in 1975.

Post-law school, he got the itch to go to Capitol Hill (like many before and after him will). From there, he worked his way to the White House as President Clinton’s counsel during the Whitewater investigation of the 1990s. Since then, the lobbyist and powerbroker has represented family of 9/11 victims in lawsuits vs. Saudi Arabia (more about those here).

To rewind a bit, Jack began working at the blue-chip firm Arnold & Porter in 1976, which is where he made partner and ended up rising to the head of the lobbying department, and after nearly 20 years, coming out as a vital figure in Democratic campaign circles.

Jack was married to Susanna for 17 years and loved his eight children and 12 grandchildren dearly.

“It was a magnificent privilege to be his wife,” Susanna said in a statement on Facebook. “His love for his family and friends was boundless. He exhibited kindness and generosity to those he knew and loved— and to people he barely knew—with no expectation of anything in return.”

She’s not wrong. I personally vividly remember walking into the Quinn’s home to interview Jack and Susanna for The Hill Newspaper, my first job post-college, where I was thrown into the D.C. power scene at the age of 22. Jack and Susanna welcomed me into their home and instantly made me feel like they were family, easing my anxiety instantly.

“In our more than 20 years together, I never heard him say or do anything mean to anyone, ever,” Susanna continued in her statement. “When people wronged him, he forgave them.”

Even in the last few weeks when he was in a lot of pain and it was difficult to talk, Susanna mentioned in the statement that Jack would smile, squeeze his loved ones hands, and told them that he loved them.

“My heart is so full from over 20 years of a perfect marriage and love affair,” Susanna continued. “It is full from becoming a part of the Quinn family and adding our own precious son. It is full from watching him love all of us with absolutely no reservation and no limit. But it is also broken.”

Quinn’s cause of death was long-term complications from a double-lung transplant in 2019. Quinn underwent the transplants due to hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a rare allergic reaction to environmental allergens that causes lung inflammation.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jack’s name to St. Alban’s School.

Services for Jack will be held at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, on Wednesday, May 29, at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow at the cathedral.

 

 

 

 

 

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One comment on “Remembering Jack Quinn (1949-2024): D.C. Lobbyist, Influencer and Family Man”

  • Ruth Matt says:

    I was so sorry to read about the death of Jack. My heart goes out to you & your family. Please accept my deepest condolences

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