George N. Lindsay, 75, Lawyer Active in Human Rights Groups

Published: August 10, 1995, N.Y. Times

George N. Lindsay, a New York lawyer who was active in politics and human rights in the United States and abroad, died on Tuesday. He was 75.

Mr. Lindsay, a brother of former Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York, lived in Syosset, L.I., and in Manhattan. He died of a heart attack while playing tennis on Long Island, according to representatives of Debevoise & Plimpton, the law firm in which he was a former presiding partner.

Mr. Lindsay was long active in the Planned Parenthood Federation and served as its national chairman for a time in the 1960's. He also held leadership positions in several human rights organizations, including the African-American Institute, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Association for the International Commission of Jurists.

Mr. Lindsay was interested in South African affairs for many years. In 1969, he went to Johannesburg to meet with government officials on behalf of a South African lawyer whose passport had been taken away after he spoke out repeatedly on civil rights.

In May 1994, Mr. Lindsay served for two weeks as a poll observer in South Africa, as that country held its first election in which blacks were permitted to vote, and elected Nelson Mandela as President.

Mr. Lindsay was active in the New York Urban Design Council, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council of Yale University. In 1988, he received the Whitney North Seymour Award from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for his work on civil rights. The award was presented by his brother the former Mayor.

In 1968, Mr. Lindsay was a leader in the unsuccessful effort to draft Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller to run for President. In 1980, Mr. Lindsay was a member of a citizens' committee that endorsed the independent candidacy of Representative John B. Anderson of Ohio for President.

Born in New York City, Mr. Lindsay graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. He served in the Navy in World War II as a communications officer on a destroyer in the Atlantic and as executive officer and commander of a destroyer escort in the Pacific.

Mr. Lindsay joined Debevoise & Plimpton in 1947 and became a partner in 1955, specializing in corporate, financial and international law. He was presiding partner from 1981 to 1987, during which time the firm grew from 150 to 270 lawyers and opened an office in Washington.

Mr. Lindsay was active in the legal community and served as chairman of the executive committee of the New York City Bar Association. He retired from Debevoise & Plimpton in 1991.

Surviving are his wife of 49 years, Mary; three sons, George Jr., of Oyster Bay, L.I.; Stephen, of St. George, Me., and Peter, of North Yarmouth, Me.; a daughter, Louise Read of Bridgewater, Conn.; two brothers, the former Mayor, who lives in Lyme, Conn., and Robert, of Millbrook, N.Y., and 10 grandchildren.