July 2, 2019: NYSBA Mourns the Passing of Former President Whitney North Seymour, Jr.

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) mourns past-President Whitney North Seymour, Jr., who died on June 29 at the age of 95. Seymour served as NYSBA president from 1974–1975. 

“Whitney North Seymour, Jr., was a giant. He exemplified the best of our profession, in its nobility and commitment to public service,” said NYSBA President Hank Greenberg, adding that “he was dedicated to the rule of law and believed deeply in the principles of our great democracy. I understand that he was fond of quoting Thomas Paine: ‘The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.’”

In his long and storied career, Seymour served as assistant U.S attorney in Manhattan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of N.Y., and as the independent counsel investigating Michael Deaver, aide to then–President Ronald Reagan. He enjoyed a 30-year career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and a second one as a small firm lawyer, as he put it, helping “ordinary people who simply cannot afford to hire legal counsel.”

Greenberg recalled reading that the Seymour family had an unusual Fourth of July tradition.

“The story is that the entire Seymour family spent the holiday reading aloud passages from the Declaration of Independence and discussing their meaning,” said Greenberg, saying that “it truly is a fitting way to celebrate Independence Day.”

Read Whitney North Seymour, Jr.’s NYSBA Journal article about his second act in  his two-partner law office, entitled Re-thinking Retirement

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Joan Fucillo 
jfucillo@nysba.org
518-487-5670