A Visionary Problem-Solver

George H. Kidder ’50, a partner for more than 40 years with the Boston law firm Hemenway & Barnes and a civic-minded lawyer who contributed extensively to the Boston community, died Aug. 20 at the age of 84 at his home in Concord, Mass.

Kidder was a longtime supporter of Harvard Law School, serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board and contributing to its most recent capital campaign as well as serving as a volunteer for numerous fundraising efforts.

“He was truly a problem-solver. He brought creativity and a commitment to improving the lives and opportunities of others,” said Dean Martha Minow. “We will miss him and long remember him.”

He was also a leading volunteer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years, sometimes giving more than 1,000 hours a year. He helped the organization expand its real estate holdings in both Boston and Tanglewood. He volunteered with the Boston Children’s Hospital, where he chaired the board of trustees, and with the Episcopal Diocese of Boston, where he served as chancellor for 20 years.

Of Kidder’s work with Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jim Lock, the Nadas Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told The Boston Globe, “George Kidder had the vision to create a completely new model of reducing liability risk that has benefited children all over the world. Without George Kidder, pediatric device developments would have been set back a decade.” Lock also noted that Kidder helped the hospital to maintain its independence during a crucial point in its development.

Kidder also served on boards associated with WGBH, Wellesley College, and also the Episcopal Divinity School and St. Mark’s School, of which he was an alumnus. During the Korean War, he took time out from his career with Hemenway & Barnes to serve in the CIA’s Office of the General Counsel.

Kidder, who was twice widowed, is survived by his wife of 14 years, Nancy Drohan, nine children and stepchildren, and 17 grandchildren.