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Obituary: Lee H. Kozol of Boston

Lee H. Kozol of Boston and long time trustee of Harbor Towers passed away on April 24, 2020 of the COVID -19 virus, at the age of 87. He was born on March 14, 1933 to the late Mildred and Frank L. Kozol. He survived his two brothers, Joel A. and Robert D. Kozol. Lee was married to his beloved wife Gail (Slawsby) Kozol. He was cherished by his daughters, Melanie Kozol and her husband Scott Carney, Wendy Kozol and her husband Steven Wojtal, and Penny Kozol and her late husband Michael Beeler; and his former wife, Paula Morse. Lee was a loving grandfather to Milo Carney, Theo Carney, Paul Wojtal and James Wojtal.

Lee graduated from Phillips Andover Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1957. He was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, Lee clerked for the Hon. William H. Hastie, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. He then joined his father and brother Joel at the Boston law firm of Friedman & Atherton, where he rose to Senior Managing Partner. At one point there were three generations of his family practicing at the firm, including his daughter Penny.

In January 1963, Lee was appointed Chief of the Civil Rights and Liberties section under Attorney General Edward Brooke. He oversaw several landmark cases, most notably the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision finding prayer in public schools is unconstitutional. Despite heavy opposition to this ruling, Lee’s work led to the adoption of appropriate practices throughout the Commonwealth. In 1965, Lee returned to private practice. His most notable achievements occurred in 1992, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld his argument that lead paint did not fall within the pollution exclusion. In addition, he and his brother Joel represented the N.E. Patriots for a number of years including the successful outcome of a shareholder derivative suit and the sale of the team in 1988. A passionate advocate for the law, he was a great resource and support to his partners and associates.

He also loved the time he spent with family and friends and was a very active in his community, including being a founding member of the Wharf District Council. He was an avid reader and enjoyed playing golf. Lee was also an accomplished cook and an engaging storyteller who loved nothing more than dining out with his family at one of his many favorite restaurants.

A celebration of Lee’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Emergency Response Development Fund for COVID-19, Mass. General Hospital, 125 Nashua Street, Boston, MA 02114; or Greater Boston Food Bank, 39 Kingston Street, Boston, MA 02111.

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