Tim Fox was born in 1957 as the fifth and last child of a hard-working Hardin, Montana, family. Like many kids in small agricultural communities, Tim began working at a young age, and soon developed a strong work ethic thanks in part to the Depression-era work ethic of his parents, Rich and Roberta Fox.
He attended Hardin public schools and graduated from Hardin High School. Tim is a three-time graduate from the University of Montana, with degrees in geology (1981), law (1987), and most recently, a Master’s in Public Administration (2018). A standout athlete in high school and college, and an amateur athlete after college, Tim knows how to set and achieve goals, how to lead, and how to be a team player.
After serving as a law clerk to Associate Justice L.C. Gulbrandson of the Montana Supreme Court, Tim began practicing law with the Billings, Montana law firm of Moulton, Bellingham & Longo in 1988. He first entered public service in 1990 when recruited to develop a new environmental regulatory program for the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation. After three years as a State of Montana employee, he established a solo law firm in Billings, where he served as a contract public defender for the City of Billings practicing criminal law in addition to maintaining a civil law practice.
Tim and his family moved to Helena, Montana in 1995 to assist then Governor Marc Racicot in his bid for reelection. Shortly after arriving in Helena, he went to work for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality as a Special Assistant Attorney General. In 1998, Tim was promoted to a Division Administrator management position with the DEQ where he managed people, programs, and budgets for the people of Montana. In 1999, Tim was hired as Vice-President and Legal Counsel for a Helena-based national bank, Mountain West Bank. He served in that position for over four years before re-entering private practice with the law firm of Gough, Shanahan, Johnson and Waterman, PLLP.
Montanans elected Tim as the state’s 24th attorney general on November 6, 2012, and he was was sworn January 7, 2013. He was reelected to a second four-year term on November 8, 2016 with a 36 percent margin of victory. As attorney general, Tim leads the Montana Department of Justice and its nearly 800 dedicated public servants. Learn more about the duties and responsibilities of the attorney general.
In his 30 years of experience as a Montana attorney, Tim has litigated numerous complex cases for individual Montanans and Montana businesses. Like many dedicated attorneys, Tim has devoted considerable time to providing pro bono legal services to Montanans who cannot afford an attorney, and to charitable and faith-based organizations. In one case, Tim helped the Alliance Defense Fund defend an East Helena Baptist church and its Pastor when the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices prosecuted the Church and its Pastor for speaking about Biblical truth from the pulpit. That case went all the way up to the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where the Church and Pastor’s First Amendment Rights were vindicated. In another Constitutional rights case, Tim represented the Goldwater Institute in fighting the Federal Government’s efforts to invalidate one of Montana’s gun rights laws. Tim is a staunch advocate of our right to keep and bear arms under the Montana and United States Constitution. As a business, real estate, constitutional, environmental, and commercial law attorney, Tim knows and understands the challenges that large and small Montana businesses face in a competitive market with layers of government regulations and taxes.
Growing up, Tim and his brothers learned that service to others, particularly the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised, was both gratifying and necessary to the success of democracy in America. Through the years, Tim has served in leadership positions on the board of directors of low-income and disabled housing projects in Billings, two Montana symphony orchestras (Billings and Helena), a faith-based private K-12 school, the Carroll College Saints Athletic Association, and the Florence Crittenton Home, among other charitable and faith-based organizations. Tim was also appointed by Governor Marc Racicot to serve on the board of directors of the Montana Historical Society, and by Governor Judy Martz to serve on the Montana State Banking Board. As a member of the Board of Delegates of the University of Montana Alumni Association, Tim strives to improve the quality of Montana’s secondary education institutions. Tim also donates his time, money, and travel expenses to college athletic programs throughout the Northwest as a nationally-certified track and field official, and coaches track & field at Helena’s Carroll College. Tim is dedicated to improving the lives of young people throughout Montana by investing his time, talent, and energy in many youth programs.
Tim’s brothers are Dr. Richard A. Fox, Jr., a retired University of South Dakota professor; Mike Fox, a retired National Park Service employee; Steve Fox, a retired Montana public high school teacher; and Dennis Fox, who manages the family business in the Hardin area. Tim is an adopted member of Montana’s Apsaalooke Nation (Crow Tribe), and his Apsaalooke name is Akchiwakii Xalusshish (Spiritual Runner). He and his wife, Karen, have four children and six grandchildren.