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Paul D. Cravath


Centurion, 1920–1940

Full Name Paul Drennan Cravath

Born 14 July 1861 in Berlin Heights, Ohio

Died 1 July 1940 in Matinecock, New York

Buried Locust Valley Cemetery, Locust Valley, New York

Proposed by Henry W. Taft and George E. Brewer

Elected 5 June 1920 at age fifty-eight

Century Memorial

The huge frame of Paul Drennan Cravath was not often in the Century club-house; yet it is safe to surmise that few members were unfamiliar with his commanding presence. Through a wide variety of activities he had made himself one of the best known of New Yorkers. From the Metropolitan Opera Association, where he served as president, through a long list of clubs and honors to such organizations as the Council on Foreign Relations and the English Speaking Union, his service was of public record. In 1918–19 he served as a member of Col. House’s “brain trust” at the peace conference. International affairs continued in the forefront of his interests, fed by his zest for travel, his lifelong hobby. The Far East was a special concern of his wanderings and his privately printed volumes of letters record a grasp of essentials, clearly expressed. The volume dealing with his trip to India has been especially admired.

But for all his outside interests, it was in the law that he left his deepest mark. He was one of the most conspicuous figures in that era of corporation expansion at the turn of the century when the business lawyer came into his own. Barely forty, Cravath entered this adventurous field in the full tide of his energy. He governed a huge firm and he was a commanding figure of the business world that built up a “glittering social fabric” based on “the growth of big business”—as he, himself, described the era of which he was so important a part.

Geoffrey Parsons
1940 Century Memorials