Mark Bronson, a good friend and colleague for many years starting back to our initial law firm days together, unexpectedly passed away a few days ago, leaving behind his wife, two kids, family and an abundance of friends who simply can't believe the news ... he was only 44.
Mark was accomplished -- VERY accomplished -- in all things he touched. His work, his relationships, everything. Yes, he was a partner at prestigious global law firm Skadden Arps. Yes, he essentially built Skadden's hugely successful Japanese law practice from the ground up. Yes, his successes are unending ever since I knew him. Yes, he took the road less traveled -- choosing adventure by working and living with his family in Japan for a number of years.
But, most importantly, he was accomplished in the things that matter most -- bringing life, joy and generosity to those around him.
Mark was truly unique in these days of frequent self-promotion and attention-seeking. Mark was ALWAYS understated, always generous with his time, always smiling with that great grin of his. He brought his humor and quiet confidence to everything he touched ... and it all came so naturally. He did not seek the spotlight -- it naturally found him -- effortlessly.
One of deepest memories of Mark took place at his best friend's -- and close friend of mine's -- Rick Genow's wedding in Mexico. The reception room was packed with Rick and Mark's cadre of extremely close, life-long friends. Those deep and long-standing relationships were impressive enough. But, I remember vividly that, when Mark stood up to toast his friend Rick and his lovely bride Mary, it all just flowed naturally ... He gave that toast with his characteristic grin ... and his characteristic understated delivery ... and it was absolutely hilarious! The room was roaring. Only a guy absolutely committed to the details of those around him could do that. And, he did that. And that's the way he lived his life.
The news is simply shocking. Mark was a great guy, the real deal, and way too young. It was not his time.
That grin and his adventurous and loyal spirit will sorely be missed. It simply cannot be put into words ...
My heart -- and the hearts of countless others -- go out to Karen, their young twins, and his family.