A Life of Service
Sam Lessey, who grew up in Chappaqua, NY, spent his childhood summers with extended family in the Adirondack Mountains. His exposure to the blessings of wilderness was enhanced by having his own grandfather, an Adirondack guide, as a mentor. In addition, his uncle, a prominent surveyor in the region, frequently took Sam out in the woods on his professional treks. Sam remembers happy summers exploring the outdoors.
After high school, Sam earned a Congressional appointment to West Point and began what was to be a long life in the military. Upon graduation, he served in the Air Force, first in Europe and later in Japan, from where he flew aircraft all over the Pacific and Far East. He eventually switched from the Regular to the Reserves, whereupon he enrolled in Harvard Business School. (This sharp-minded patriot was already a graduate of Harvard Law School.) With his Harvard Business School degree in hand, Sam then worked in investment banking on Wall Street for the next 17 years.
Meanwhile, Sam’s parents moved to a beautiful historic home in Hancock, and Sam eventually moved there too. Now in his 90s, General Lessey — who served a total of 38 years in the Service, achieving the rank of Brigadier General — enjoys inviting his neighbors’ cows to take advantage of the lush fields surrounding his home, bound by stone walls that have stood there for centuries.
A Steadfast Harris Center Supporter
Throughout several decades, General Lessey has been a generous and steadfast supporter of the Harris Center. He continues to attend our community programs whenever he can.
“I like being stimulated by different things; helps keep your mind working. The Harris Center was something I latched onto early on because it’s my kind of thing — I believe in its mission!”
General Lessey has been active in other nonprofit organizations as well, most notably the National Stroke Association, where he was Chairman of the Board for several years, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society, where he is currently Chairman. His life has been defined by three significant areas of interest: business, charity, and military.
In addition to his impressive military record, General Lessey received two Presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation: Inspector General of the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation and Director of the Selective Service System. He was also twice appointed by the President to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Harris Center is fortunate to call this honorable man a friend.
“I am very fond of the Harris Center. We could use more organizations like this!”
For more information on the Harris Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations, please contact Lisa Murray at (603) 525-3394 or by email.