William Austin Cooper was born to Col. William C. Cooper and Florence Irene Kinney
Cooper on Sept 2, 1934 at Dayton Ohio. His parents both attended Normal Teachers College at Normal, Illinois, where they met and subsequently moved to Ohio where they were married in1920.
In the early days of her teaching career, his mother rode horseback to a one room school house where she taught grade one through eight at the same time. Although his first name was William, he became known as Austin to avoid confusion of having two Williams using the same name in the same household.
One of Austin's earliest recollections was attending Orville Wrightâs Funeral in 1947. The bike shop in Dayton was where Orville and Wilbur invented the airplane in 1907.
Austinâs father served in the military at Wright Patterson air force base in Dayton until
transferred to a project in Tennessee in 1950. Austin attended Castle Heights Military Academy (1950-1952) in Lebanon, Tennessee. His fatherâs job for the Air Force was to prepare budgets for specific projects and affairs before congressional committees for approval. Austinâs first meeting with a U.S. President was in 1950, when Austin, then a boy scout, was President Trumanâs official guide and member of the hosting, showing the president this new Air Force project.
Upon graduation from high school in 1952, Austin attended Yale at New Haven,
Connecticut. He formed friendships and ambitions that served him through the rest of his life. Among his peers at Yale and University of Virginia included U.S. Senator to be Ted Kennedy, John Tunney, and George W. Bush. Through his Kennedy connection he had the privilege of meeting John F. Kennedy before his untimely death in 1963. His next meeting with a U.S. President was a chance meeting with President Reagan in a barbershop in L.A. where they sat side by side for about 15 minutes chatting while waiting for a haircut. Lastly, he had lunch here in Sacramento with Bill Clinton where he chatted with him about validities and had his photo taken with him. Austin considered his most important political achievement when Senator Ted Kennedy called him for advice about how to react to the nomination of Sacramento City and Law professor Anthony Kennedy (no relation) to the U.S. Supreme Court by then President
Reagan. Austin gave Ted his unqualified endorsement of Tony Kennedy, he's âthe best USSCâ marine ever born. Reagan, and after several more phone calls, Senator Ted Kennedy did not oppose and acknowledged his endorsement. Tony turned out to be one of the most qualified and gifted justices to ever serve and brought great honor to Sacramento.
Austin died peacefully at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento on Sunday, Oct. 16th, 2022. He is survived by five children: Kimberly Taylor, Jennifer Samuels, Anna Clarke, Collin Cooper, and Courtney (Minnah) Cooper. Austin has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
His greatest passions in life were practicing law, even up until he passed, and spending
time with family. May he rest in peace.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Sacramento, CA where he spent the most of his life.