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Cody Fowler Davis, prominent Tampa attorney, dies of heart attack

Attorney Cody Fowler Davis was also the author of two legal thrillers, and a tennis star in college.
Attorney Cody Fowler Davis was also the author of two legal thrillers, and a tennis star in college.
Published Jan. 11, 2017

TAMPA — Cody Fowler Davis, an accomplished local attorney and the brother of a former U.S. congressman, died of a heart attack Saturday. He was 57.

Mr. Davis. whose family has deep roots in Tampa, built his reputation on his work practicing civil trial law for more than 30 years, family said.

He was the namesake of his grandfather, Cody Fowler, a president of the American Bar Association who shocked colleagues by working alongside black activists during the civil rights movement.

Mr. Davis perpetuated his grandfather's legacy with his own legal work, his family said.

"He was a highly ethical, effective lawyer, and he was fearless," said former congressman Jim Davis of his brother.

He was also a man of many passions, his brother said.

Mr. Davis was the author of two well-regarded legal thrillers: Green 61 and Implied Consent, and had outlined a third novel.

He was a stand-out tennis player at Tampa's Jesuit High School when he learned he had melanoma on his playing arm. Though his athletic career was put on hold as he overcame the cancer, Mr. Davis went on to earn a tennis scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where he was the No. 1 player. He later earned a law degree from the Florida State University College of Law.

In addition to his legal work, Mr. Davis sat on several boards, including at Berkeley Preparatory School and Tampa General Hospital. He was a past commodore of the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, where he played tennis Monday nights.

Above all, his brother said, Mr. Davis was a devoted family man. He leaves behind a wife, Beth, four grown daughters, and two grandchildren.

Services honoring Mr. Davis' life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at St. John's Episcopal Church, 906 S Orleans Ave., in South Tampa.