Born: March 30, 1940
Died: May 11, 2009

Edward A. Perell was born in Stamford, Connecticut, son of Sydney Charles and Dorothy Barger Perell. He prepared for Yale at Andover.

Ed was an American Studies major, on Dean's List and a ranking scholar. He was a member of Young Democrats. Ed became a non-resident member of Davenport when he married Nan Lynn Lifflander on June 12, 1960.

After graduation Ed continued in New Haven at Yale Law School earning his LL.B. in 1965. He was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, 1963-1965.

Ed then joined the New York City law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton where he became a partner in 1973 and had a distinguished career until his retirement in 2005. Ed specialized in corporate and insurance law, financing and securities and international business. While Ed worked on some of the largest mergers and acquisitions in the country, he also held prominent and challenging management assignments. He was managing partner of his firm for 3 years, opened the firm's London office in 1989 where he spent 5 years, and was a member of the firm's Operations Committee for many years.

Ed was a mentor and father figure to countless younger lawyers. In his eulogy at Ed's funeral Steve Gross, one of those he had mentored, paid him this tribute:

"Ed acted as an adviser and mentor throughout our years together at the firm. He was a brilliant lawyer, a careful draftsman, a skilled negotiator and one who worried about his clients and then worried some more. ... Ed knew everybody at the firm - lawyers, secretaries, and all the staff. He always had a greeting and everyone smiled back, and they got that incredible jovial hello from Ed and many acts of kindness and reaching out. Part of Ed's teaching was to remind us of the importance of connection and decency in addition to excellence."

"Ed's dazzling smile," Yale Law School classmate and law partner Barbara Paul Robinson recalls, "would light up the room."

Ed was a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the International and American Bar Associations.

He was also extraordinarily active in the community and charitable work. He began as a volunteer at Graham Home for Children and then became a member of the board and later president of the board. Under his tutelage Graham Home became the largest child care agency in New York. He also served as chairman of the board of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, which included over 250 voluntary non-sectarian agencies, and he spent a decade on the board.

Ed and Nan shared a love of dogs and their hobby for over 40 years was to breed and show bulldogs. After retirement Ed and Nan started a new business, private divorce mediation, and together they conducted a very busy practice for 5 years. Ed was also active in his support of Nan's work as a trustee of Project Renewal in Manhattan, which supports the homeless.

Ed squeezed in a sabbatical year from his law practice when he took a road trip through blue grass country to learn the five-string banjo. On his return he created an English garden at their home in Dobbs Ferry, with profusions of flowers. "He modeled it," Nan said, "after gardens we had seen during our stay in London."

In addition to his widow, a clinical social worker who was in practice for 30 years, Ed is survived by their 2 children, Stephanie and Timothy, Timothy's wife, Mary Ann, and 4 grandchildren, Cameron, Isabel, Josephine and May.

A funeral service was held at Riverside Memorial in Manhattan. The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Project Renewal.