Woods was a fixture of Arizona Republican politics for decades and was a top aide to the late Sen. John McCain when he was a congressman, serving as his first chief of staff in the 1980s. He delivered a eulogy alongside now-President Joe Biden at McCain’s 2018 memorial service in Phoenix.
Woods served as attorney general from 1991 to 1999, helping lead negotiations on a massive nationwide settlement with tobacco companies that continues to help fund the state’s Medicaid program. The state has received more than $1 billion since the 1998 settlement agreement.
After leaving office, he returned to private practice and was a highly successful civil litigator in anti-trust, fraud, breach-of-contract and medical malpractice cases. He was also often tapped as a special prosecutor in public corruption cases and tried murder cases.
In addition to his legal and political work, Woods was a longtime fundraiser for charities. He founded the Mesa Boys and Girls Club, the Mesa Education Foundation and the Mesa Arts Academy. He also was an aspiring playwright.
In lieu of flowers, Galen Woods asks that donations be made to the Boys and Girls Club of the Valley.
“The outpouring of love and help for our family after Grant’s shocking passing has been extraordinary,” Galen Woods said in a statement. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Pastor Warren Stewart of the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix will officiate. Stewart led the campaign to establish a paid Martin Luther King Holiday in Arizona in 1992 with Woods’ support.
In addition to his wife, Woods is survived by sons Austin, Cole and Dylan and daughters Lauren and Ava.