This tall, awkward boy raised in West University Place never forgot what it felt like to be bullied. Little did he know then that many years later, as a plaintiff’s attorney, he would eventually crusade against the biggest bullies of our time. Big John O’Quinn does everything in a big way as he crusades against large corporations and big businesses. He is undeniably one of the leaders in law, not just in Houston but also in the country. If there is a major case to be had, you can bet O’Quinn has a hand in it.
He continues to win mammoth cases against oil, diet pill and breast implant companies, although his name is still synonymous with the first consumer win against the tobacco companies.
He is totally fascinated by law, a place where his titan memory found its niche. This master of rhetoric can easily recall quotes from the Bible, poetry and passages from depositions, which this legend uses to impress a jury.
His generosity from winning trials benefits numerous charities that hit a soft spot with him. He gave The Center for Abused Women $1 million over lunch with Director Ellen Cohen. The Children’s Assessment Center benefited from a $1 million matching grant that John offered when Ellen Cokinos softly twisted his arm.
When the University of Houston had a difficult time raising money to renovate the 1941 Robinson Stadium, O’Quinn said, “Build it. I’ll pay for it.” Six million dollars later, the new football field was christened O’Quinn Field. O’Quinn is a member of the UH System Board of Regents and a 1967 magna cum laude UH Law Center alumnus. His philanthropic heart pounds hard for education. He not only funded law study fellowships, but also contributes to the University of Houston and Monterrey Tech Education Exchange.
Just where does such a Houston icon spend his time out of the office?
Well, thinking big has never been a problem for O’Quinn. Not having lost a case in 17 years, it’s no wonder he indulges himself with a peaceful retreat with O’Quinn-sized rooms. He tore out hundreds of pages from Architectural Digest and other magazines for inspirational details when he designed his approximately 10,000-square-foot River Oaks mansion. He brought his dreams of a restful respite to life in this home.