By Victoria Merlino
Whitney North Seymour, Jr., a former high-profile prosecutor and past president of the New York State Bar Association, died on June 29 at the age of 95.
Seymour had a long career in both politics and law, scoring two terms as a state senator in the 1960’s. Though he never went national with his political career, losing runs for Congress and the Senate, he became a well-known attorney, tackling corruption as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan and independent counsel investigating an influential aide to then-President Ronald Reagan for perjury.
Seymour also initially argued for the government to not have the Pentagon Papers released, according to The New York Times.
He served from 1974 to 1975 as president of the NYSBA.
“Whitney North Seymour, Jr., was a giant. He exemplified the best of our profession, in its nobility and commitment to public service,” current NYSBA President Hank Greenberg said, 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.’”