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Danny Paley, son of famed writer Grace

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Danny Paley, the son of short-story writer Grace Paley, died Jan. 1. He was 71. The cause of death was reportedly emphysema.

Danny Paley was born May 11, 1951, to Grace Paley and Jess Paley, a motion-picture cameraman. He grew up in an apartment building on W. 11th Street just west of P.S. 41. Danny attended the school, where his mother was very engaged in the P.T.A. before later getting involved in the antiwar movement, according to Robert Reiss, a Greenwich Village peace activist who knew Grace Paley.

“That apartment on the second floor was a setting for a lot of her story-making,” Reiss said of Grace Paley. “Danny attended as a kid many protests and pickets by the Paley family and friend urban prophet Jane Jacobs. Danny clearly is merged into his mother’s fictional characters, especially in her first two collections of stories.”

Grace Paley’s second husband, poet and landscape architect Robert Nichols, led a redesign of Washington Square Park, later superseded by the current redesign by George Vellonakis.

Reiss met Danny just once, when the latter was in his early 20s.

“He was strapping and clear-eyed,” he said. “Grace introduced us at the Greenwich Village Peace Center, formed by the Quakers, housed in the Washington Square Methodist Church, at W. Fourth Street, now a facade of the church in front of luxury apartments.”

Though not stated in a brief New York Times obituary, Reiss said he believed Danny Paley, who lived in Brooklyn, at one point, was a teacher, possibly in the New York City school system. The Times obituary refers to Danny as “a lifelong student of history and science.”

Danny Paley is survived by his wife, Debbie, a daughter, Laura, grandson, Niko, his sister, Nora Paley, a niece and a nephew.

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