Remembering Harry E. Gallagher

Mar 29, 2024

Our dear friend and longtime colleague Harry E. Gallagher passed away peacefully this week.  Harry was instrumental in the careers of many Missouri legislative consultants and lobbyists, including CN Missouri Partner Heath Clarkston.  Harry was a wealth of knowledge and showed incredible professionalism in our industry.  His life and legacy will be remembered for many years to come, and we will truly miss his friendship.

Rest in peace friend.

-Heath and Doug

Harry Gallagher, Founder of Gallagher Consultants

March 1, 1932 — March 27, 2024

Prairie Village, KS

Harry Gallagher was born in Lawrence, KS, on March 1, 1932, to Margaret and Harry Gallagher, Sr., of Tonganoxie, KS. He passed away March 27, 2024. He was noted as the effective legislative consultant in the Missouri State Capitol for nearly a half-century.

In the 1960s, Harry became active in Kansas City politics, managing numerous political campaigns, including the mayoral campaign of Dr. Charles Wheeler in 1971. Harry was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1972, where he was Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economics for Zero Based Budgeting. He also was a member of the Elections, Insurance, and Local Government Committees, a member of the Subcommittee on Insurance-No Fault, and a member of the Subcommittee on Appropriations-Insurance Program for Higher Education Institutions.

After he left elected office, he became the Executive Assistant for Jackson County Executive Mike White in 1975, specializing in legislative affairs.

As businesses came to Harry wanting his advice for passing legislation in the Missouri General Assembly, he gradually built what would become Gallagher Consultants, among the first independent lobbying firms in Jefferson City. He built a robust lobbying practice that enjoyed tremendous success over 45 years. He was involved in nearly every major piece of legislation in Missouri during those decades, launched many careers of political consultants, and advised many senior elected officials, including every Governor of the State of Missouri.

He chaired the Missouri Insurance Coalition Legislative Committee for many years, was the President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Missouri for several decades; and represented 30 to 50 clients every year, including the Missouri Press Association, the Missouri Broadcasters Association, the Missouri chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Missouri Society of Accountants, the Missouri Financial Services Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, the Golden Rule Insurance Company, and the 3M Corporation.

He was gifted as a businessman.

He married Karen Bonner in 1988, and they were blessed with two sons, Benjamin Gallagher (fiancée Ashleigh) and Edward Gallagher (Elizabeth), in 1994. They had many happy times together at their lake house, traveling, cheering on the Mizzou football team, growing flowers, grilling with Gallagher Sauce, and treating people to Harry’s signature jalapeño cheese grits.

After working 12-hour days until he was 85 years old, Harry merged Gallagher Consultants in 2018 to the Lathrop GPM firm and became Chairman Emeritus of Lathrop GPM Consulting, LLC.

Harry is survived by his loving wife, Karen, and his children, Harry III, Jeanne, Patrick, Peggy, Maureen, Sean, Ben, and Ted, and more than 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation is scheduled for 12:00 noon with the Celebration of Life service at 1:00 on Monday, April 1, at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. Burial in Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS.

Memorial gifts can be directed to the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society, PO Box 785, Tonganoxie, KS, 66086-0785.