Dr. Henry Lee

Earlier this month, I got to hear Dr. Henry Lee speak about his life and career. It was an amazing talk that caught me by surprise. Having lived in Connecticut most of my life, I have seen Dr. Lee make headlines for years. He is one of our state’s most famous citizens. What I didn’t realize, was how dynamic of a speaker he was. I knew he was one of the world’s foremost experts on forensics, but he is also one of the best speakers I have heard.

Photos and newspaper clippings from his long career packed his slide show. His career began as a police officer in China, more than 40 years ago. He has held many top jobs in Connecticut, including Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. He was part of some of the most high-profile cases in modern history, including O.J. Simpson, Vincent Foster, JonBennet Ramsey, and the John F. Kennedy assassination. With so much death and carnage, one would think that his presentation would be heavy. It had its fair share of blood and guts, with images that would make you turn your head, but it was interesting and it wasn’t over the top. There was actually a lot of humor in his talk.

He kept our small group laughing for nearly two hours as he recounted stories from his past. The great thing about Dr. Lee is that there is an amazing amount of substance to his thoughts. He has real experiences to call upon and he peppers the stories with funny one liners. His pioneering scientific research is very serious and exonerated many people who were wrongly accused/convicted of crimes. It has also led to the arrest/conviction of many criminals. Dr. Lee is modest about his long list of accomplishments and honorary degrees. He is a proud man who has done a lot for society and his sheer enthusiasm is infectious. He has led many other talented people into forensic science. Beyond his science, he has been a pure leader who continues to inspire people through his speaking and writing. I left his talk feeling motivated.

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