Obituary: Henry Strauss
Henry Strauss, a 60-year resident of Darien, died at his new home in Mill Valley, Calif., at the age of 98.
An avid sailor, he belonged to Noroton Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club and the Cruising Club of America. Over his lifetime he sailed in six of the seven world’s oceans, often with his wife Joan as crew.
Believing the U.S. would have to enter World War II, he enlisted in the Navy before Pearl Harbor. On Feb. 18, 1942, while serving on a supply ship escorted by two destroyers off the coast of Newfoundland, the convoy’s early version of radar failed during a storm of epic proportions. Giant waves slammed the ships against 100-foot rock cliffs. 209 sailors died in what became the largest non-combat loss of life in Naval history. Strauss’ quick actions are credited with saving many lives. In turn, he and other survivors were rescued by residents of Lawn, Newfoundland, who walked miles through blinding, hip deep snow, to save the stranded Americans. For his heroism, Strauss was given a commission and awarded the Naval Commendation Medal. The full story of this shipwreck is recounted in a book called Standing Into Danger by Cassie Brown.
Lieutenant J.G. Henry Strauss went on to become the Commander of the Sub-chaser SC 668, and served in the South Pacific. He was at the battle of Guadalcanal when the Marines landed to take the island back from the Japanese. His Sub-chaser was credited with shooting down three Japanese Zeros during the battle.
After World War II he founded Henry Strauss and Company, a documentary film company. He was widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of industrial and human relations. His clients included IBM, DuPont, AT&T and Pan Am. For Pan Am he traveled the globe with his wife making films on Russia, England, Japan, Tahiti and New Zealand among others. He received an Academy Award Nomination for his film, “Art Is” made for the New York State Council of the Arts.
Mr. Strauss is survived by his daughter Jan Raymond and her husband Chip, his daughter Terry Strauss White and her husband Michael. He leaves behind grand children Sasha White, Joshua Raymond and his wife Lisa, Luke Raymond and his wife Briony and three great grand children, Henry and Lucy Raymond and Rhys Raymond.
-by the Family