Washington lawyer, John Tillotson Wainwright “Jack”, died February 2, 2018 at his home outside Lexington, VA after a long illness that robbed him of his ability to continue his work of fighting for freedom for political prisoners and third world countries. The illness did not rob him of his ability to read history, poetry, biography and he continued studying his bird books and listening to music. He remained an interesting and resourceful man.
Mr. Wainwright was educated at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire; entered Princeton University in 1950; interrupted his studies at the time of the Korean War and joined the Army becoming a jumper and a Private First Class. He returned to Princeton, graduated with honors, received his law degree from the University of Virginia and began his work in Washington, DC working in the John and Robert Kennedy political campaigns. He was employed by the U.S. Agency for International Development before going into the private practice of law. In private practice he worked to obtain freedom for American prisoners held captive in Cuban prisons. One of the freed prisoners credited his freedom to Mr. Wainwright’s relentless efforts on his behalf. There were similar adventures throughout Mr. Wainwright’s career, most of them known only by those he helped.
Mr. Wainwright was born on July 10, 1931. His father for whom he was named drowned eight months before his son was born while attempting to save the lives of the Consul to the U.S. Consulate to Havana and his wife who had been swept off a rocky cliff by a rogue wave at Matanza Bay, Cuba in November of 1930. All three perished. Mr. Wainwright’s mother, Alice Gertrude Cutts Wainwright, returned to the U.S. and gave birth to their son in Newport, Rhode Island. Later she and her young son moved to Coconut Grove, Florida where Jack grew up.
He leaves his wife Catherine Peacock Wainwright “Kitty” and his sons Andrew Turner Wainwright and his wife Jackie and their two children, Scout and Augie, and his son Peter Jefferson Wainwright and his son Jacob Sinkler Wainwright.