Attorneys aren’t always the brunt of the joke; sometimes, they’re the ones making the jokes. Case in point is attorney and stand-up comedian Robert C. Howard, Jr. (he goes by “Bob”), who won the Funniest Person in the Valley contest in 2001 and opened for Wanda Sykes at the Tempe Improv. In 2013, he won the John O’Connor Humor Competition sponsored by the Phoenix 100 Rotary Club. Through 2014, he wrote “Finding the Funny” – a monthly column for the Fountain Hills Times.
But Bob isn’t all about laughs. In 2008, the State Bar of Arizona named him as one of the top 50 pro bono attorneys in the state. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottsdale Historymakers Hall of Fame by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.
He served as President of the Scottsdale Bar Association from 1985-1986 and, in 2006, the Association gave him the Award of Excellence for Community Service. The Maricopa County Bar gave him the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2000 and the Longevity Award for Outstanding Performance in 2014 for the time he has devoted to the Family Law Assistance Program (FLAP).
Bob promoted the idea and helped establish a monthly legal assistance program at the Paiute Neighborhood Center, where members of the Scottsdale Bar Association provide free legal services once a month. He started the annual fundraising breakfast for the Center and started a program with the Scottsdale Charros for Scottsdale School students to have lunch and a few hours at the stadium during the spring training season. He has also been on the negotiation team for the Charros which resulted in long-term contracts with the San Francisco Giants.
As if all of that weren’t enough, Bob has served as President of the Scottsdale Charros, the Partners for Paiute Neighborhood Center, and the Scottsdale Education Foundation. He served a six-year term on the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission and acted as their Chairman for two years. He was a member of Class I of Scottsdale Leadership and later served on that Board and as President from 1992-1993. He was also honored with the Frank Hodges Leadership Award in 1999, the Charro of the Year Award in 1988, and the Charro Lifer of the Year Award in 2002.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bob’s family moved to Arizona in 1960. He graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1976 from ASU Law School. He was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1976 and was formerly with the firm of Jekel, Howard & Thomson LLP in Scottsdale.
In his spare time, Bob likes to play poker, tennis, and slow pitch softball. He and Kathy, his wife of 23 years, love to spend weekends in their cabin in Prescott. Bob has a son, two stepsons, and five grandchildren.