A Life-long Public Servant, Graham is remembered for his Pursuit of Racial Equality in Westchester     

Watch the Full News Conference Here: https://youtu.be/BEuemk2EtoE

Lawrence Otis Graham, a lifelong public servant, lawyer, author and prominent figure in the exploration of race, achievement and wealth, is remembered for all time in Westchester with a permanent memorial site at Kensico Dam Plaza. The Lawrence Otis Graham Garden & Memorial is surrounded by gardens and benches, along with a stone set with a plaque of Graham’s portrait and the following inscription; “Honored for his life-long pursuit of racial equity, upholding democracy and example of human kindness.” Westchester County Executive George Latimer has officially unveiled the site to the public.

Latimer said: “Lawrence Otis Graham was an influential and monumental figure in Westchester, a talented and successful executive in his own right. When I first met him I was a Westchester County legislator, and we shared more than 25 years of friendship together. Lawrence served as Chair of the Westchester County Police Board, and more recently on our Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force. He will be remembered as someone who shined a light on the role of race and class in our County. His passing is a big loss to our community, and we hope this memorial site will serve as comfort to all the people whose lives he touched.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said: “My friend, Lawrence Otis Graham was a brilliant lawyer, writer and activist whose powerful insights into class identity and the complexities of Black experiences captivated readers. His work challenged norms and sparked important conversations on the realities of racial divisions. Graham Garden is a fitting tribute to his lasting impact and profound contributions. His legacy will continue to inspire generations toward a more equitable and understanding future.”

Senator Pete Harckham said: “Lawrence was a remarkable individual and a good friend. His interests focused on creating a better, more equitable world, and were reflected in his love of family, community and public service. The memorial garden dedicated to his memory and legacy is a fitting tribute to Lawrence, whose intelligence, enthusiasm and accomplishments dazzled so brightly.”

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said: “I am honored to join in honoring the memory of Lawrence Otis Graham at the opening of this beautiful garden and memorial and to award him posthumously for his exemplary service to our community. Lawrence was a renowned lawyer, author, reporter, and activist. Above all, he was a principled man whom I was very lucky to know. May this garden and memorial keep his memory alive and provide comfort to all who knew and cared for him.”

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chair Vedat Gashi said: “Lawrence Otis Graham had a lasting impact on Westchester County. He drew attention to the effects of racism on the African American community, and used his talent to make Westchester stronger and more inclusive of all people. It is my hope that the Graham Garden and Memorial site will inspire future generations to learn more about him, and his legacy.” 

Elisabeth Radow, a long-time friend and colleague of Graham’s, spearheaded the project which was created as a welcoming place for visitors to gather, celebrate, reflect on Graham’s life, and carry on his legacy to improve the lives of others.

Radow said: “Lawrence Graham was a larger-than-life Westchester original, with national impact. As a friend and law colleague, I witnessed Lawrence over 34 years manifest his humanity, meticulous scholarship and bold honesty as a best-selling author to reveal racial disparities and make inroads toward social and economic parity. In addition to his professional career, Lawrence devoted his time in service to Westchester County.”

Graham was a life-long Westchester County resident, a corporate lawyer, as well as a New York Times bestselling author of 14 books on politics, education, race and class in America. Graham was married to Pamela Thomas-Graham, and the two shared three children together. Graham passed away on February 19, 2021.