Harold (Hal) Sanford Kant died on Sunday (Oct. 19) after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

For over thirty-five years, the politically conservative, registered Republican was the principal lawyer and general counsel for the seminal Sixties rock band, the Grateful Dead. He created and oversaw the various corporations that managed the day-to-day business of the legendary band; and his guiding hand is credited with preserving the band's enduring legacy and their valuable intellectual property, including ownership of their music masters and publishing rights, a rare feat in the early days of rock 'n roll.

Kant's influence was so pervasive within the band that Jerry Garcia and the band emblazoned his Grateful Dead business cards with the simple title, "Czar." Even with that, the Grateful Dead were only a small part of Kant's international business and legal practice. Beyond his career, Kant was also an accomplished amateur poker player, and in 1987 he won the World Series of Poker. In addition to classical opera, Kant had a passion for skiing, travel, and golf, and he enjoyed painting and was an avid art collector. In 1973, Kant co-authored the monograph, "Pornography and Sexual Deviance," with Michael J. Goldstein and John J. Hartman.

Born in Queens, N.Y., on July 29, 1931, Kant grew up in the Bronx. He attended Clinton DeWitt High School and got his undergraduate degree at the City College of New York and the University of Washington. He obtained his masters degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University before graduating with honors from Harvard University Law School. After law school, he clerked for the esteemed Judge William Orr of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

Kant married twice, first to Sheila MacLurg, in 1955, with whom he had three sons, Garth, Anthony, and Jonas, and then later he married Margaret H. Jesse in 1976. In addition to Jesse and his three sons and Jonas' wife Lucy, Kant is is survived by his sisters, Charlotte Silverman and Thelma Sameth; his step-children, Cameron Cassidy Sloane (and her husband Robin) and Sean Cassidy (and his wife, Andrea); and six grandchildren. Donations in his honor may be made to the Tower Cancer Research Foundation in Los Angeles here.