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A 'Gray Flannel' Trailblazer: From the Concrete Canyons of New York,
Pryor Devotes His Free Time to Preserving Open Space

BY EDWARD N. EISEN
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EXPERIENCED HANDS
Charlie Heimbold, L’60
Sam Pryor, L’53

A modest man, not given to monologues about his achievements, Pryor has nonetheless been effective in persuading politicians to work with him to preserve open space. So when you ask Sam Pryor, L’53, to explain his devotion to this cause, you don’t get grand Walden-like pronouncements on the beauty of nature. Rather, Pryor puts it plainly: “If you don’t protect open space, it will be gone in due time.”

This unlikely power broker — an overseer at Penn Law for 10 years and a recipient of Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit — has done his best to prevent that from happening in his neck of the woods. There’s the time he buttonholed then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to support his effort to preserve the Sterling Forest, an 18,000-acre natural refuge in New York State, across from the Hudson River and below the Adirondack Mountains. For his work, he won an award in 1997 from the Appalachian Mountain Club, for which he has been the longtime chairman. That same year, Pryor revived a political action committee named after Theodore Roosevelt.

 
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