Norman P. Seagrave ’37

Norman P. Seagrave ’37 died on August 24, 2013, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He was born on January 31, 1916, in Uxbridge, Mass., and graduated from B.M.C. Durfee High School. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity, winner of the Hiland Lockwood Prize in Public Speaking, the Edgar O. Achorn Debating Prize, and the Bradbury Debating Prize, all of which helped earn him the nickname “Soapbox.” He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1940, then worked briefly for the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish before joining the Army. As a young Army officer commanding American and British troops in North Africa during World War II, he received both the Bronze Star and membership in the Order of the British Empire, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He wore the American Defense Ribbon and Mediterranean Theater Ribbon with one battle participation star. After his discharge, he joined the State Department, where he represented the U.S. in early international efforts to organize air transportation as executive assistant on the President’s Air Coordinating Committee, and as an alternate U.S. Representative to the Council of the International Civic Aviation Organization. He lived in Washington and Montreal before he was named attaché to the U.S. embassy in Rome. In 1954, he accepted a job in New York with Pan Am World Airways, where he worked until his retirement in 1980. As Pan Am’s international law counsel, he negotiated the first flights between New York and Moscow at the height of the Cold War. He also served as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on the Law of the Sea, and he later taught international business law at Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University of New Hampshire School of Law. A lifelong Democrat who believed strongly in community service, he was a popular minority member of the board of selectmen for the town of Darien, Conn., for well over a decade. An avid swimmer since his days at Bowdoin, his greatest success came as a backstroker on relay teams; his name still appears on the relay record boards at Bowdoin for a race he won with his older brother, Orville. As a U.S. Masters swimmer, he was a member of three relay teams that set All-American records, most recently when he was 92 years old. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he traveled widely until his 90s. He is survived by daughters Anne Fullerton, Molly Channing, Jane Seagrave ’76 and Martha Seagrave, and by 10 grandchildren. He was predeceased by less than six months by his wife of 65 years, Mary Ryan Seagrave; and by brothers A. Gordon Seagrave ’41 and Orville B. Seagrave ’36.

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