Friends remember the private investigator Jack Palladino who died following robbery

The clients of Jack Palladino included a former U.S. president, corporate whistleblowers and scandal-plagued celebrities.

But people who knew Paladino called him the ultimate private investigator and a great human. His death comes just days after two men tried to steal his camera in front of his home in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood.

"It was as if you were to cast someone to be a private investigator in a movie, Jack Palladino was the prototype," says former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. 

He regarded Palladino as a colleague and friend.

Brown says he hired him on numerous occasions.

"Did so much to make the justice system work whether it was civil justice or criminal justice," says Brown. 

There is now a  small memorial at the corner of Page Street and Masonic where two men attempted to rob Palladino of his camera in front of his home Thursday afternoon.

Police say there was a struggle with a suspect in a car that led to Palladino falling to the ground and hitting his head. 

He died in the hospital Monday.

"We're just totally so sad and so shocked by the way this great career ended," says Jack Immendorf, a private investigator and friend. 

Palladino was also a lawyer.  His career spanned decades.

He worked on a wide range of cases, including high-profile ones such as the People's Temple mass suicide in Jonestown.

He also investigated allegations made by women against convicted Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and former president Bill Clinton.

But Palladino also worked for lesser-known clients, too.

"He actually did his share of pro bono work helping a lot of these people who needed the services but did not have the means to pay for it. He was genuinely a good man," says Immendorf. 

He says he worked with and against Palladino.  They would spend time together talking about cases and sharing stories at John's Grill in San Francisco.

"He just knew how to put people at ease. Great interviewer, just a fantastic investigator," says Immendorf.

"I can't conceive of San Francisco without Jack," Brown said, adding that the 76-year-old acted as a private investigator even till the very end. "In my opinion, it was typical Jack. He hung onto his camera. He would have never parted with the evidence and it this case, his camera."

Friends say Palladino's camera held images that led to the arrest of two suspects.

Palladino's attorney says the ace private investigator's last act was to solve his own death. 

The men arrested are a 23-year-old from San Francisco and a 24-year-old from Pittsburg.