Eddie Hayes (lawyer)

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Edward W. Hayes
Born (1947-11-03)November 3, 1947
Queens, New York, USA
Ethnicity Irish-American
Alma mater University of Virginia
Columbia Law School
Occupation Lawyer, Author

Edward Walter Hayes is an American lawyer, journalist, and memoirist. He is known for his role in settling the estate of Andy Warhol and representing several organized crime figures. Tom Wolfe's character Tommy Killian in The Bonfire of the Vanities is based on Hayes. Hayes has regularly featured on Irish radio station Today FM. Most recently, Hayes was portrayed as a character in the Broadway hit, Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks.

Early life[edit]

Hayes grew up in Queens, New York, and graduated from the University of Virginia and then, supporting himself first as a bartender and later as a law clerk, Columbia Law School, where he formed a close friendship with former New York governor George Pataki. In his memoir, Mouthpiece, he recalls the regular beatings he received from his father as well as other children in the neighborhood.

Legal practice[edit]

Hayes became a licensed attorney in New York in 1973[1][2]and worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx before opening a private practice.

In the matter of the Warhol estate, he was hired by the artist's foundation for a fee proportional to the value of the estate. His appraisers valued it at nearly $700 million, in contrast to the $100 million figure that Christie's auction house had given the foundation. The Court found the estate was worth $500 million. The Foundation is required to give away 5% of the value of its assets so this decision was important to the public as well as to Hayes. After several rounds of litigation between him and the foundation, an Appellate Court ruled he had been overpaid, violated his fiduciary duties to the Estate and owed them over a million dollars.On August 23, 1996, Hayes filed for bankruptcy according to the Second Circuit's opinion in the case. Hayes filed a complaint against the Appellate Judge who ruled against him, Justice Francis Murphy, on the grounds that Murphy had a relationship with the lawyer for the Foundation that he should have disclosed. Murphy resigned rather than answer the complaint.

In the 2000s, Hayes collaborated with Bruce Cutler, best known as John Gotti's former attorney, in defending a pair of New York police officers accused of organized-crime-related murders.

Pop culture[edit]

Tom Wolfe met him socially and they became close friends. In addition to dedicating his 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities to Hayes, Wolfe has acknowledged that he based the lawyer character Tommy Killian on him.

Andy Warhol had met the lawyer briefly in the fall of 1980 and wrote in his diary,

defense lawyer named Ed Hayes who looked like he was from Laverne and Shirley, like a plant that people invite to parties to wear funny clothes and jump around and make things ‘kooky.’ Sort of forties clothes, really crew cut, about twenty-nine. He said, ‘I can get ya outta anything.’

Hayes's phrase "I can get ya outta anything" is widely used among the many news reporters and journalists that Hayes represents. Hayes's representation of famed tabloid columnist Mike McAlary was depicted in the 2013 Broadway hit, Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks.

He has been named to Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame. Hayes has also been featured in the 2013 book, I am Dandy by Rose Callahan and Nathaniel Adams.

Other work[edit]

In 2006, when Hayes published his memoir Mouthpiece: A Life in—and Sometimes Just Outside—the Law (written jointly with Susan Lehman), describing his life and law career, Wolfe wrote its introduction.

Hayes is a weekly contributor to The Sunday Supplement Show on Irish radio station Today FM.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Susie Gilder, model and actress, on 31 May 1986. Their wedding was covered in Vanity Fair.

He has two children, a girl named Avery and a boy named John.


  1. ^ "Edward W. Hayes". Martin Dale. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Edward Walter Hayes". Avvo. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  3. ^ The Sunday Supplement - contributors[dead link]
  4. ^ The End of the Mob[dead link]

External links[edit]