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Bestselling Author Lawrence Otis Graham Of Northern Westchester Dies At 59

Lawrence Otis Graham received an honorary doctorate and delivered the commencement address at Pace's commencement ceremony.
Lawrence Otis Graham received an honorary doctorate and delivered the commencement address at Pace's commencement ceremony. Photo Credit: Daily Voice

Lawrence Otis Graham, a prominent lawyer, activist, bestselling author, and longtime Westchester resident died at the age of 59 over the weekend.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer took to social media on Sunday, Feb. 21 to announce the White Plains High School graduate and Chappaqua resident’s death.

“His writing particularly struck a chord as he described growing up Black, well-educated, articulate and accomplished, and still facing prejudice and racism in this society,” Latimer said about the Graham, who also graduated from Harvard Law School and Princeton University.

“He was a lawyer, a well-recognized author, a TV commentator, community activist - Chair of our County Police Board, former Congressional candidate,” Latimer added. “We grieve this morning on the news that our friend Lawrence Otis Graham has passed away, at the age of (59).”

An acclaimed author, Graham published 14 bestselling books, one of which, “Member of the Club” chronicled his undercover experiences as a country club worker at an all-white Greenwich Country Club in the early 1990s.

Graham, who was raised in Mount Vernon and White Plains practiced corporate and real estate law at Cuddy & Feder, a Manhattan firm, and was a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report. He was also a former adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he taught African American Studies and American Government.

The cause of Graham’s death has not been disclosed.

“I met him when he and his wife Pam - a talented and successful executive in her own right - lived in White Plains and I was going door-to-door running for re-election as a County Legislator,” Latimer said. “I walked away from that front door meeting knowing I had just met an impressive man... and he was that and more over the 25 years of our friendship.”

A public viewing has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 26 at Lee’s Funeral Home in White Plains. 

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