Perry Duryea

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Perry Belmont Duryea, Jr.
Born (1921-10-18)October 18, 1921
Montauk, New York, U.S.
Died January 11, 2004(2004-01-11) (aged 82)
Southampton, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
Car accident
Spouse(s) Marie Therese Duryea
Children two

Perry Belmont Duryea, Jr. (October 18, 1921 – January 11, 2004) was an American politician.

Life[edit]

He was born on October 18, 1921, in Montauk, Suffolk County, New York, the son of Perry B. Duryea Sr. (1891–1968). Duryea Sr. ran a wholesale seafood business, and later was a state senator and State Conservation Commissioner. Duryea Jr. attended East Hampton High School and graduated from Colgate University in 1942.

He attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy as a pilot of the U.S. Naval Air Transport Service, and entered the family business full-time after World War II.

He was a Republican member from Suffolk County of the New York State Assembly from 1961 to 1978. For the last 12 years of his tenure he was the leader of the Republicans in the chamber, serving as minority leader from 1966 to 1968, Speaker from 1969 to 1974, and minority leader again from 1975 to 1978. After the Watergate scandal the Republicans lost their majority in the Assembly, and Duryea remains to date the last Republican Speaker. Duryea was active in fighting against development of eastern Long Island including a successful fight in 1967 to stop plans to turn the Grumman Assembly Plant in Calverton, New York into the fourth major airport in metropolitan New York City.

He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1967, and a member of the New York Republican State Central Committee in 1968.

In 1978, he was the Republican candidate for Governor of New York, but lost to the incumbent Hugh Carey. Earlier in the campaign, he'd called for juveniles to be tried as adults for certain violent crimes, a move steadfastly opposed by Carey. The situation was dramatically altered, however, when Willie Bosket, a 15-year-old from Harlem, killed three people in the New York City Subway and was only sentenced to five years in a state youth facility. The outcry over such a lenient sentence led Carey to reverse course and support a law allowing juveniles as young as 13 to be tried as adults.

Duryea died on January 11, 2004, in Southampton Hospital in Southampton, New York, as the result of injuries suffered in a car accident; and was buried at the Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk.

He had two children: Perry "Chip" Duryea III and Lynn Duryea.

He had a hunting lodge in Bishops Head, Maryland.

A New York State office building in Hauppauge, Long Island, was renamed the Perry B Duryea Jr State Office Building at the request of Suffolk County Court Judge, the Hon. Martin J Kerins.

He was also a member of the Long Island State Park Commission, Bethpage Park Authority, Jones Beach State Parkway Authority from 1963 to 1969, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Colgate University and Dowling College.

Duryea was the defendant in People v. Duryea, 76 Misc.2d 948, 351 N.Y.S.2d 978 (1974), affirmed 44 A.D.2d 663, 354 N.Y.S.2d 129 (1974), a case about the right to anonymous free speech, later cited with approval in McIntyre v Ohio Election Commission (1995).

Sources[edit]

  • [1] Obit in NYT on January 13, 2004
  • [2] Colgate Obituary
  • Suffolk Jetport Seen at an Impasse in NYT on March 22, 1967
  • [3] Political Graveyard

External links[edit]

  • [4] Finding Aid for the Papers of Perry B. Duryea, Jr.
  • [5] M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Irving Price
New York State Assembly, Suffolk County 1st District
1961–1965
Succeeded by
District abolished
Preceded by
New district
New York State Assembly, 1st District
1966–1978
Succeeded by
John Behan
Political offices
Preceded by
George L. Ingalls
Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Stanley Steingut
Preceded by
Moses M. Weinstein
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1969–1974
Succeeded by
Stanley Steingut
Preceded by
Stanley Steingut
Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly
1975–1978
Succeeded by
James L. Emery
Party political offices
Preceded by
Malcolm Wilson
Republican Nominee for Governor of New York
1978
Succeeded by
Lewis Lehrman