November 1, 2003 by

John Graves

1 comment

Categories: Education, Misc.

John Cowperthwaite Graves, an educator and philanthropist, died on Oct. 13 from an apparent embolism that developed after he donated blood. He was 65.
Born and raised in New York, Graves received his doctorate from Princeton University. He was teaching philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he revealed his homosexuality to his students. Once he “came out,” Graves founded the Gay Academic Union of New England and became a psychotherapist at the Homophile Community Health Service in Boston.
After retiring to Fort Lauderdale in 1990, Graves became an active humanitarian. He donated $100,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, and gave $303,000 to the Metropolitan Community Church’s Sunshine Cathedral, which in turn, named a building after him.
Graves was the first openly gay man to receive the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals. Next month, he was to have been honored with a humanitarian award from The Miami Herald during the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of South Florida dinner.
His autobiography, “Many Roads Traveled,” was self-published in 2000.

One Response to John Graves

  1. Zac Abramson

    My partner and met John C. Graves while on vacation in Provincetown many years ago. We had noticed him having a drink at the Boatslip over the years and I finally walked up and introduced myself to him. He was kind and a good conversationalist. When he found out We were from Alabama, he told us of his uncle, also named John Graves who was a famous journalist for the Birmingham News during the civil rights era. He was fascinated to hear of the progress the gay rights movement was making in the deep south, and we were equally fascinated to tell him of our experience of 21 years together in Alabama. He was such a gentleman – we will miss seeing him at Tea.
    Zac Abramson

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