Birmingham attorney behind Doug Jones’ Senate win, Giles Perkins dies at 51

Giles Perkins

Giles Perkins, a Birmingham lawyer who was the campaign chair for Sen. Doug Jones during his special election victory in 2017, died on Sunday after a three year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 51.

Jones called Perkins the “Yoda” of his Senate campaign, referencing the wise Jedi master in the “Star Wars” movies. Perkins’ strategies helped bring the former Alabama District Attorney to victory.

“It is with great sadness today that Louise and I mourn the loss of our dear friend Giles Perkins, who had fought fiercely against cancer for several years. Giles was more than just an accomplished attorney, community activist and brilliant political advisor and strategist,” said Jones. “He understood Alabama’s complicated history, but also had the vision to see what our collective future could hold if we worked together.”

Jones continued, “Anyone who crossed paths with him, be it in politics or through his remarkable community service projects, saw his passion for making our state—and the entire South—the best version of itself. He challenged me constantly – so much so that I affectionately dubbed him ‘Yoda’ on the campaign trail last year. His tough love approach, and his ability to see the bigger picture, made me a better candidate and most certainly a better U.S. Senator. I will always cherish his friendship.”

Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell posted her condolences on Facebook.

“I’m saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Giles Perkins,” Sewell posted. “He was a man who truly loved serving the people of Alabama. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Until his passing, Perkins was a partner at the Adams and Reese law firm.

“Giles had a powerful influence on everyone who knew him. His love of life, family and Birmingham will live on forever through his accomplishments and in our hearts,” said Gif Thornton, Managing Partner at Adams and Reese. “We will miss him sadly, remember him fondly and draw from his courage and compassion to continue.”

Outside of politics, Perkins was active in the community. He was a Founding Member of the Birmingham Zoo, as well as the President of the Railroad Park Foundation.