Lawrence Otis Graham of Chappaqua, New York, respected attorney, author, media commentator, board member and lifelong advocate for diversity, died on Friday, February 19, 2021. Born on December 25, 1961, he was the son of Richard C. Graham and Betty J. Graham. Lawrence graduated from White Plains High School, Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He married corporate executive Pamela A. Thomas on February 15, 1992, and worked until his death as an attorney at the White Plains law firm Cuddy & Feder.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence Otis Graham, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
A New York Times bestselling author of fourteen non-fiction books about politics, education, race and class in America, Graham's work includes the book Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class, a New York Times and national bestseller. Fox Entertainment is currently developing a television series based on this book.
Graham's other books include The Senator and The Socialite: The Story of America's First Black Political Dynasty. However, he may be best known for his essay collection Member of the Club, which included the New York Magazine cover story recounting his work undercover as a black busboy at the Greenwich Country Club in the early 1990's.
Graham served as a board member of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; the American Theatre Wing; the Eaglebrook School; and the Horace Mann School. He served as a frequent political commentator on News 12 Westchester, representing the Democratic Party point of view.
He was chairman of the Westchester County Police Board and had previously served on the boards of the Red Cross of Westchester, the Princeton Center for Leadership Training, the Jack & Jill Foundation, and the Westchester Holocaust Commission.
Lawrence was an active member of the men's organization Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known as The Boulé. His family were members of the Links and Jack & Jill of America.
Lawrence is survived by his wife Pamela Thomas-Graham, and their children Gordon, Harrison and Lindsey. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. Richard Graham; a number of cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews; dear friends and colleagues; and his beloved godmother Dr. Mirian Hinds.
ATTENTION: During this COVID-19 crisis, as we slowly begin to phase back into small capacity public visitations/services, we need your help in limiting and controlling the number of people inside the funeral home, church AND cemetery. WE HAVE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR VISITATION THIS FRIDAY 2/26 - PLEASE READ IN DETAIL BELOW BEFORE EVEN ATTEMPTING TO ATTEND ANYTHING PLEASE! Thank you so kindly!
The Public Visitation on Fri. 2/26 is a 'walk through visitation' ONLY, gifted for the Public to pay tribute ONLY - NO family will be in attendance! What IS being ALLOWED is a constant stream of HEALTHY attendees, in groups of two (2), to just BRIEFLY do a 'walk through visitation', briefly view/give their respects and leave, during the 12noon-5:00PM TIME period ONLY. Strict social distancing MUST be maintained inside & outside at ALL times (NO touching/hugging/handshaking, ONLY elbow bumping briefly if at all), and there is NO guarantee of entry. So during that time period, in groups of 2 with your masks on (preferably wearing 2 masks/double-masking), you will be allowed to come to the front door/main entrance on Fisher Av., get hand sanitizer, read & sign the contact release & list, then sign the family's register book (NOTE: please preferably bring your own pen for All signing), walk through maintaining social distance, briefly view, and then immediately leave the building/exit through different side exit & premises (you will literally be in the funeral home for just a few brief minutes). Once 5:00PM comes, NO one else will be admitted inside and ALL must leave the funeral home & vicinity.
You MUST come to the funeral home wearing a mask, & wear a mask inside & outside at all times (with the increase in number & severity of strains of COVID, DOUBLE MASKING is recommended/preferred), & there is NO guarantee of entry. You must use hand sanitizer upon entering the funeral home & HONESTLY sign a COVID acknowledgment/exposure waiver/release form - if you cannot HONESTLY sign off to ALL conditions nor want to give your contact information, DO NOT COME NOR ENTER. If you know or even suspect you have a coronovirus/COVID-19; are sick/experiencing symptoms of coronovirus/COVID-19; are immuno-compromised and/or have health/other conditions that make your body more susceptible to illness, are under an imposed or advised quarantine, and/or are visiting from out of NY State that requires you to quarantine/take & have a negative COVID test result &/or adhere to any other requirements before going out in public and you have not done so nor gotten an exemption, please do NOT even attempt to attend any services nor come into the funeral home!!! Please preferably bring & use your own pen for signing our contact list/release & the family's register book - you are encouraged to please BRING & use your own PEN for signing. Please follow & abide by the directions of the funeral home, church, and/or cemetery staff/personnel at ALL times, for the health & safety of All. Thank you!
The Entire Staff of Lee's Funeral Home, LLC respects that the family of Lawrence Otis Graham entrusted the care of their loved one to us, and that they value the level of service & attention our funeral home provides. We are honored, in turn, to provide comfort, assistance and service to the Graham family during their time of bereavement.
Please leave written condolences now herein on the Memory Wall to express your sorrow, share your memories, and as an expression of sympathy & way to communicate with/offer comfort to the family, that they and others may see, and may be a lasting tribute in his honor, whether you're able to attend or not. Definitely Please SIGN IN on the Memory Wall as a virtual way of signing the register book, especially if choosing to stay safe/not able to sign in person.
The family kindly requests NO flowers. In LIEU of flowers, a lasting contribution may be made "In Memory of Lawrence Otis Graham" to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Contribution Receipt Center, PO Box 98097, Washington, DC 20090, or online at go.si.edu/honor-memory . If sending flowers despite family's request, you may choose to plant a tree in his name/memory/honor as another lasting tribute, otherwise small plants or vases would be preferred & may be delivered either on Thurs. Feb. 25th, 2021 by/before 6:00PM to Lee's Funeral Home, or on Fri.. Feb. 26th, 2021 by/before 11:30AM to Lee's Funeral Home. The Family Thanks You!