Seward Still Frequents Office at 98
ON AUGUST 4TH, GEORGE C. SEWARD ’36 of Seward & Kissel, turned 98 years old. As senior counsel to the firm that bears his name, Seward maintains a regular schedule of commuting from his home in Scarsdale, N.Y., to his downtown office at One Battery Park Plaza. Call him on his direct line and, generally, he will answer his own phone on the first ring. Paula Huffell, his secretary of over 30 years, continues to be his watchful gatekeeper.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1910, Seward had a childhood that proved to be quite nomadic in nature. As a result of his father’s business, he attended school in six different states. Seward earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Virginia. While still attending law school, he was admitted into the Virginia Bar, and two years later, in 1937, was admitted to the New York Bar. On December 12, 1936, Seward married Carroll Frances McKay, and throughout their time together had four children, Gordon Day, Patricia McKay, James Pickett, and Deborah Carroll.
From the beginning of his law career, Seward was always immensely interested in business law. In 1953, he joined Meyer, Kidder, Matz & Kissel, the firm that would one day become Seward & Kissel. In an effort to establish a successful, thriving business law practice, Seward became very involved in the American Bar Association, rising to Chair of the Business Law Section of the ABA.
Intending to exercise his influence on a more global scale, Seward resigned from his position in the ABA’s House of Delegates in order to devote more time to the International Bar Association (London), for which he had great aspirations. In 1970, he successfully founded the Section on Business Law of the IBA, which allowed individual business lawyers, instead of only foundations and practices, to join.
Seward’s influence in the IBA was strong. He was awarded the title of Honorary Life President. His contributions were so great that beginning in the late 1980s, a series of lectures delivered by leaders from around the globe was dedicated to him. He is a member of The American Law Institute and former president of The Arts & Sciences Council of the University of Virginia.