John Braslow has a larger than life presence.
Known as “Jack,” Braslow always sees a cigar in his hand, offering stories, blunt advice and a sharp take on current political and legal views to listeners eager to soak up the his views. The longtime lawyer of Northern Babylon has spent more than six decades as a political fixture, both as a leader of the Babylon Town Democratic Party and as an adviser to those running for the position.
Braslow, of Middle Island, died Sept. 27 at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson after suffering a stroke. He is 92.
“When you talk to dad, it’s not about him, it’s about you,” said his son Robert, of Southold. “If you have kids, he’ll remember their names and if someone had a problem, he’ll remember and ask if they took care of it.”
His engaging and charismatic style started him more than his political allies.
“Everyone in every political party loved him because of the way he treated people,” said his son Stephen Braslow, a Suffolk County judge. “He skipped parties. That was something that was really unusual back then.”
Born Nov. 14, 1928, Braslow grew up in the Bronx, where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army to join the war effort, serving for two years in Europe and earning the rank of sergeant. Returning to the US, he attended Champlain College in Plattsburgh.
Braslow went on to earn his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1953. He then worked for the Queens Legal Aid Society, said his son Stephen of Amityville.
In 1952 Braslow married Joan Schwartz, and the couple had three children, Robert, Stephen and Deborah. The family moved to Deer Park in the late 1950s and Braslow set up a law practice in Northern Babylon where he was a jack of all trades, Stephen said, handling real estate closures. estate, wills and personal injury cases.
He also immediately immersed himself in local Democratic politics, an unknown position at the time Republicans led local races. Braslow did not successfully run for the state Assembly in 1962 but will continue to serve as leader of the Democratic Town Council for more than 10 years, from the early 1970s to the mid -1980s.
Babylon Town manager and Democratic county leader Rich Schaffer met Braslow when he was 13 and helped work at the Democrat phone bank. Braslow will continue to be his “political father and personal father,” Schaffer said, instructing him to “always have a plan B, C and D.”
The longtime Yankees fan is not only generous with his time but with his money, and his law office is often full of people asking for his help, he said.
“He’s always trying to help everyone,” Schaffer said.
In addition to his sons, Braslow is survived by his second wife, Joyce Braslow, of Middle Island; two grandchildren; and five great -grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Deborah.
Braslow is buried in Calverton National Cemetery.