Henry Granison, a Tompkins County Legislator, Dies at Home
Henry Granison resigned last month in order to focus on cancer treatments, and died peacefully Saturday morning.
Granison had long been committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion within the legal profession. He led efforts within his county’s legal department in this regard as well as organizing community conversations about them.
Early Life and Education
Henry Granison was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended Cornell University for his undergraduate studies before continuing on to Harvard Law School where he graduated with honors.
Granison was elected to the Tompkins County Legislature in 2017 to represent its Third District, which encompasses portions of Ithaca’s Belle Sherman neighborhood, Cornell’s North Campus and upper Collegetown as well as portions of South Hill.
He was an outspoken advocate of diversity and inclusion both personally and within his legislative process, serving on workforce diversity committees for both his county’s workforce diversity program and public safety division. Committed to his community and always making time for constituents, he will be sorely missed; an election will be held shortly to fill his seat.
Granison enjoyed great respect among his peers and was widely considered an astute leader, according to sources. Additionally, he was a loving husband and father – particularly towards Charlotte and Samantha, his daughters.
He worked in the legal industry for years, specializing in improving diversity, equity and inclusion within law firm admissions offices and law school admissions departments. Later teaching at Tompkins Cortland Community College as well as being active in volunteer roles was among his main commitments.
In 2018, he was elected to represent District 3 on the Tompkins County Legislature, comprising Belle Sherman neighborhood, parts of Cornell’s north campus and upper Collegetown area, South Hill neighborhood and areas in between. He served on legislative committees dedicated to workforce diversity and public safety.
Achievement and Honors
After serving briefly on Cornell Law School’s admissions team in Westchester, Granison returned home and taught a paralegal course at Tompkins Cortland Community College while also volunteering his services at his local library.
At an Ithaca County Legislature budget hearing last month, legislators shared memories of Granison. His strong ethical compass, compassionate communication during the COVID pandemic and commitment to integrity and trust were particularly lauded by attendees. Granison will be sorely missed; his third district seat on the County Legislature (representing Ithaca’s Belle Sherman neighborhood and parts of Cornell’s upper Collegetown and North Campus campuses) will be filled via special election in January.
Tompkins County Legislator Henry Granison has announced his resignation due to cancer treatment. He had held this position since 2017.
Sources claim he was dedicated to both his family and community. With his wife, Charlotte and Samantha were born.
He worked tirelessly in his free time to advance diversity and inclusion within the law profession by recruiting law school students of color into law firms. Additionally, he taught paralegal classes at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Aside from being passionate about diversity and inclusion in law, he was deeply concerned about environmental protection as well as believing strongly in government’s role within local communities. Above all else, he was beloved husband, father and friend to many. We will miss him dearly.
Henry Granison had long resided in Ithaca and after retiring from law, became actively engaged with local politics. Running for Tompkins County Legislature in 2018, his colleagues acknowledged his positive contributions on issues like housing affordability and increasing diversity and inclusion within legal circles.
As he announced his resignation during an emotional Legislature meeting last month, it was in response to intensive cancer treatments. When his decision was announced, members rose to their feet with applause before Chair Shawna Black called a short recess for them all to collect themselves before returning to work.