Harry Lee, 1967 College of Law graduate and Jefferson Parish Sheriff since 1979, died Monday at Ochsner Medical Center after a five-month battle with leukemia. He was 75. Lee created Loyola’s Asian Pacific American Endowed Law Scholarship in the fall of 2006 to aid Asian law students. The purpose of this ongoing scholarship is to promote excellence in the field of law by offering financial incentives to talented Asian students.
Lee earned his law degree while working 72 hours a week managing the House of Lee Restaurant family restaurant. During his career at Loyola, Lee was elected president of the Loyola Student Bar Association and was inducted into the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity. After just a few years of law practice, Lee became the first United States magistrate to be sworn in for the Eastern District of Louisiana, in 1971. His leadership abilities were again recognized when he was elected president of the National Council of United States Magistrates in 1973.
After resigning from the office of United States Magistrate, Lee was appointed as parish attorney for the parish of Jefferson, state of Louisiana. In 1979, Lee was elected Sheriff of Jefferson Parish. Lee was re-elected for six consecutive terms in 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999 and again in 2003, fulfilling his assertation that he would die in office. He was registered to run for an 8th term in this October’s election.
Funeral services for Lee will be held on Friday, October 5, at the Alario Center in Westwego. Organizers have not yet announced a time for the service.