Obituary of Mark Herzog
Mark Herzog, 59, passed away peacefully at home on November 13, 2021, approximately fifteen months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma. He was the beloved father of Grant Mitchell Costa Herzog (13) and devoted husband of Christopher Costa, both of Washington, DC. In addition, Mark leaves behind Dr. Leslie Herzog (sister) of Plantation, Florida, Nelson (father) and Nancy Herzog of Hollywood, Florida, 13 nieces and nephews, 10 sisters- and brothers-in-law, and an incredible number of additional family and friends. Mark was predeceased by his mother Marlene (Heath) Herzog, also of Hollywood, Florida.
Born in Miami, Florida, Mark finished high school early and graduated from the University of Florida in three years with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Inspired by his mother, Mark attended George Washington University Law School, earning his juris doctorate in 1986.
Mark’s legal career spanned over three decades and touched thousands of lives in the District of Columbia from low or no-income residents to legal services colleagues and volunteers. His experiences included private practice, service as a public defender in the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York City, service as an attorney and adjunct professor with D.C. Law Students in Court, and two decades working for the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, where he rose to be associate director. In fact, Mark and Chris met at the D.C. Bar’s Saturday Advice & Referral Clinic that Mark helped launch, using Bread for the City’s spaces in Shaw and Anacostia.
Mark then established a coaching and consulting practice in which he served nonprofit organizations nationwide. Most recently, Mark joined Sidley Austin LLP in 2017, where he served as pro bono counsel until his death. Under Mark’s leadership, Sidley was honored as a pro bono law firm of the year 2018-19 by the D.C. Bar.
Throughout his storied career, Mark was selected for numerous leadership positions, including commissioner with the D.C. Access to Justice Commission and the D.C. Commission on Human Rights. Mark also served on the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Task Force and as a board member for the D.C. Bar Foundation, the Whitman-Walker Clinic (now Whitman-Walker Health), the D.C. Employment Justice Center, the LGBT Bar Association of D.C., and the Washington Council of Lawyers. Mark worked with about every civil legal services program and law firm providing pro bono services in the District of Columbia, collaborating on projects such as online pro bono services ProBono.net/dc and LawHelp.org/DC. The community recognized Mark’s work, honoring him with outstanding achievement and community service awards as well as the Jerrold Scoutt Prize by the D.C. Bar Foundation and the Justice Potter Stewart Award by the Council for Court Excellence. Among other kind tributes, the D.C. Bar published a remembrance of Mark and his accomplishments at https://www.dcbar.org/news-events/news/remembering-pro-bono-champion-mark-herzog.
For all his numerous professional accomplishments, Mark’s greatest joy was his family, whom he showered with love. His happiest day was bringing Grant home from the hospital. All who knew Mark will affirm that Grant and all Mark’s family and friends provided the true source of his happiness, gratitude, and pride. Mark’s family and many in the D.C. legal community mourn his passing and remember his life of service, fighting to ensure that all people had access to civil legal services.
Mark’s family is planning a memorial service for Mark in the Spring of 2022. Inquiries may be made via the Rapp Funeral Home in Silver Spring, MD, rappfuneral.com.