Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Retired Hillsborough school board attorney Crosby Few was dedicated to his work

TAMPA — Crosby Few spent almost four decades as the attorney for the Hillsborough County School District, one of the longest tenures in Florida's history.

He died Saturday at the age of 77.

"Mr. Few was just very much an icon to our school district," said Earl Lennard, Hillsborough's supervisor of elections and a former school superintendent who worked with Mr. Few for about 25 years.

"He never tried to be another board member or anything," Lennard said, "but he always wanted to ensure that students were taken care of and protected."

The school district's desegregation case and the 1968 teacher strike were among the high-profile cases Mr. Few handled over the years. He also represented the district when Rosa Martinez sued in 1986 to get her 7-year-old mentally handicapped daughter with AIDS in a classroom with other children.

He served on the Tampa Sports Authority when it built the original Tampa Stadium. He was a chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

Mr. Few, who was divorced, is survived by three children: Terrin, married to former Bucs general manager Rich McKay, now president of the Atlanta Falcons; John, a financial adviser with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; and Jennifer Burchill, assistant athletics director with the Hillsborough school district.

He had six grandchildren ranging in age from 15 to 28 and a great-granddaughter who is nearly 2.

"You couldn't have made them any better than him when it comes to how much he loved his family," Burchill said. "He was fiercely loyal to his people."

Lennard described Mr. Few as a "Southern gentleman" who was always courteous and loved sports.

Tom Gonzalez, a labor and employment lawyer in private practice who consulted with the school district, remembered him as a mentor to boys in his South Tampa neighborhood and an official at high school football games.

"He knew sports. He played just about every sport there was in high school and then some in college," he said. "He was a great tennis player. A great golfer."

During his long years in public service, Mr. Few built a statewide reputation.

"From Pensacola to Miami, if you were with Crosby in some courthouse, he was going to know a significant number of lawyers in that town," Gonzalez said.

Mr. Few grew up in New Smyrna Beach. His mother was a teacher, and his father an assistant railroad superintendent.

He attended the University of Florida and dreamed of playing professional baseball before he was drafted into the Korean War. Afterward, he went to law school at the University of Florida on the GI Bill.

After graduation, Few worked for a Sarasota law firm and later became a Hillsborough prosecutor. In 1965, he became an assistant county attorney, representing the school district and supervisor of elections. In 1967, superintendent Raymond Shelton hired Few as the school attorney.

"He worked very hard to ensure that the school district was cared for," Lennard said. "When he saw a rule that out of line or wasn't treating people fairly, he was quick to point it out."

When he retired, Mr. Few estimated he had attended about 1,500 school board meetings.

"The school system was his love," Burchill said.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m. at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club. Memorial services are set for Monday at 10 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church.

Information from Times files was used in this report. Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.


Crosby Few

Born: June 7, 1933.

Died: Nov. 6, 2010.

Survivors: Daughter Terrin, and her husband Rich McKay; son John and his wife Irene; daughter Jennifer Burchill and her husband Sandy; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Retired Hillsborough school board attorney Crosby Few was dedicated to his work 11/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 3:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle