Alan L. Reed, 86, of Villanova and Hobe Sound, Fla., a former law partner in the Philadelphia firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius and a philanthropist and civic leader who raised millions to create the National Constitution Center, died Tuesday, May 12, of heart failure at a hospice in Stuart, Fla.

Mr. Reed joined Morgan, Lewis and Bockius in 1961, right out of Harvard Law School, and became a partner in 1969.

Early in his career, Mr. Reed was counsel to emerging and established companies. He was the firm’s chair in 1992 and 1993 and managing partner of the Philadelphia office from 1997 to 1999.

As chair of the firm’s government regulation section, he represented PECO Energy, Pennsylvania-American Water Works, Safeguard Scientifics Inc., and what is now Aqua PA in cases before the Pennsylvania PUC and the state’s appeals courts.

During his tenure, Morgan Lewis grew from 72 lawyers in Philadelphia to 1,200 worldwide. He retired in 2000.

“I will always remember Alan as a lawyer and leader who set the tone for our firm’s values and culture,” said Jami Wintz McKeon, chair of the firm. “He was one of the first to congratulate or console a colleague, and his personal notes to others celebrated moments of joy and touched hearts in times of pain. Alan truly valued people, and they felt valued by him.”

Mr. Reed was committed to many charitable and civic institutions in Philadelphia. He was instrumental in creating the National Constitution Center and raised $77 million to establish — as he described it — “one of the crown jewels of our region and a national treasure,” his family said.

Mr. Reed persuaded Morgan Lewis to celebrate the firm’s 125th anniversary in 1998 by giving a leading gift to the center project.

Mr. Reed was also a champion of the Power of an Hour initiative, which challenged all Philadelphia lawyers to contribute the worth of one hour of their time to the center. At his urging, 15 local law firms pledged $1.3 million toward the $130 million goal. He made scores of personal visits to law firms asking for their cooperation.

He also partnered with his wife, Louise, in supporting cultural institutions in Philadelphia, including the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2011, the couple pledged $1.5 million toward a new dance facility for the ballet company on the Avenue of the Arts, a few blocks north of City Hall. The facility opened in 2013 as the Louise Reed Center for Dance at 323 N. Broad St.

Mr. Reed with his wife, Louise (left), and Susan Campbell.
Mr. Reed with his wife, Louise (left), and Susan Campbell.

Mr. Reed served on the boards of the Foreign Policy Research Institute; Rittenhouse Trust Co.; and Valley Forge Educational Services, which runs the Vanguard School. His family said he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school, which provides comprehensive special education and related clinical services to children with special needs.

Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in Annapolis, Md. He graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Williams College in 1955 before enrolling in law school. He served as an intelligence officer in the Navy from 1955 to 1958.

An athlete and sports fan, he wrestled and played football in college and later switched to tennis and golf. He was devoted to the Philadelphia teams, especially the Eagles and Phillies.

In addition to his wife of 62 years, Louise H. Reed, he is survived by daughters Allyson M. Reed and Story Reed Leonard; a son, Edward L. Reed; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held once the coronavirus pandemic has ebbed.

Memorial donations made be made to the National Constitution Center via, or to the Pennsylvania Ballet via