OBITUARY Area native’s dark tie to history

The OBSERVER's view

A man with Western New York ties quietly died in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 7 at 91. Born in Dunkirk and a graduate of the University of Buffalo, Winston George Lawson was forever haunted by his place in history.

According to a New York Times obituary passed on to the OBSERVER by a number of readers, Lawson was working as a Secret Service agent for four years when, on Nov. 22, 1963, he was in an unmarked police car in Dallas just ahead of President John F. Kennedy’s open limousine. The obituary noted Lawson, within an hour after Kennedy’s death, would forever ponder if he had done enough to keep the president safe.

“At times I wish I had never been born,” he said during a Richmond television interview in on WTVR in 2013.

Lawson, without question, shouldered a lot of blame for what is one of the darkest days in American history. Following that fateful day, the man who grew up in Portland, N.Y., and was known for his attention to detail could never get over that moment.

For many others who grew up at the time and watched it happen before their eyes, their sentiments were very similar.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today