Lawrence Otis Graham (born 1962) is an African-American attorney and New York Times best-selling author.
Early life and education [ edit ]
Graham was raised in Manhattan and later in White Plains, New York. He has a brother, Richard, an orthodontist.
He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, then Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts and from Harvard Law School with a juris doctor in 1988.
Career [ edit ]
Lawrence Otis Graham is a corporate and real estate attorney as well as a New York Times bestselling author of 14 non-fiction books on the subject of politics, education, race and class in America. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Glamour, U.S. News & World Report and Reader's Digest, where he has served as a contributing editor. His book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class (HarperCollins) was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Essence Magazine bestseller, as well as a selection of the Book of the Month Club. Netflix is currently developing a series based on the book.
Graham's book The Senator and The Socialite: the Story of America’s First Black Political Dynasty (HarperCollins) is a biography of U.S. Senator Blanche Bruce, the first black person to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. Graham is also the author of such books as The Best Companies for Minorities (Penguin Books) and Proversity: Getting Past Face Value (John Wiley & Sons)—two guides on diversity in the workplace—as well as Member of the Club (HarperCollins) which was originally a cover story on New York Magazine, and was later optioned for a feature film by Warner Brothers.
Graham has appeared on numerous TV programs including Charlie Rose, Today Show, The View, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Good Morning America, and has been profiled in USA Today and TIME.
A former adjunct professor at Fordham University, Graham has taught African American Studies as well as American Government.
Graham appears weekly as a political commentator on News 12.
He is chairman of the Westchester County Police Board and has served on the boards of Red Cross of Westchester, the Boy Scouts of America, Princeton Center for Leadership Training, Jack & Jill Foundation, and Council on Economic Priorities.
Graham is also a trustee of SUNY Purchase College Foundation, the American Theatre Wing and the Horace Mann School in New York City.
2000 Congressional Campaign [ edit ]
During the 2000 United States House of Representatives elections, Graham challenged incumbent Republican Sue W. Kelly for her seat in New York's 19th congressional district. He was unsuccessful.
Personal life [ edit ]
Graham is married to corporate executive Pamela Thomas-Graham. They live in Manhattan and in Chappaqua, New York and have three children.
Books [ edit ]
Graham's books centralize on African-American social class.
- The Senator and the Socialite: The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty (2006) - This is the true story of America's first black dynasty and follows three generations of a family that rose from slavery to the U.S. Senate. Born a Mississippi slave in 1841, Blanche Kelso Bruce amassed a real estate fortune and became the first black person to serve a full Senate term. He married Josephine Willson, the daughter of a wealthy black doctor, and they broke racial barriers as a socialite couple in 1880s Washington, D.C. By hosting white Republicans and blacks like President Ulysses S. Grant and Frederick Douglass, Bruce gained appointments under four Presidents, culminating with a US Treasury post which placed his name on all U.S. currency.
- Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class (1999) - Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha's Vineyard and Sag Harbor. Membership in The Links, Jack and Jill, Deltas, Boulés, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, churches, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group.
- Proversity: Getting Past Face Value (1997)
- Member of The Club: Reflections on Life in a Polarized World (1995) - Member of the Club was Graham's 11th book, but it was the one that brought national recognition to his essays on race, class and politics. st known for revealing Graham's experience of leaving his successful corporate law practice at one of New York's largest law firms in order to go undercover as a busboy at a famous Connecticut country club that discriminates against African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, and women. An excerpt of this book appeared on the cover of New York Magazine.
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]