Louis R. Tomson ’64 was a dedicated public servant who played a key role in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He passed away on May 8, 2012, at the age of 71.
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Tomson was the son of Bernard Tomson, a former New York State Supreme Court justice. He graduated from Columbia College in 1961 before earning his J.D. from Columbia Law School three years later.
Tomson served in private practice for three years after earning his law degree, and then began a long career in New York state government. In 1967, he was named deputy counsel for Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s Office of General Services. He would later serve as head of the state’s first committee dedicated to the public’s access to government records, and was tasked with explaining the newly created Freedom of Information Law to state agencies. In 1995, Tomson was named first deputy counsel to Governor George E. Pataki ’70, and he worked closely with several public authorities, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, during his three years in that role.
In 2002, Pataki named Tomson executive director of The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the state-run organization responsible for rebuilding Lower Manhattan after the collapse of the Twin Towers. As executive director, Tomson helped manage development of the 9/11 Memorial, which opened in 2011, and the building of One World Trade Center, which is slated for completion in 2014.
Tomson is survived by his wife, Ingegerd; his son Daniel and his wife Kerry; his son Anders and his wife Mary Ellen; his sister, Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.