SATURDAY: Painter of presidents and famous forensic scientist to attend event

Presidential portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler and well-known forensic scientist Henry C. Lee will be  guest speakers at Housatonic Community College’s (HCC) Hall of Fame Gala on Saturday, Nov. 15.

HCC alumnus and musician Jerry Vigorito will be inducted into the Hall. Vigorito is the co-founder of Band Together, a group of musicians that holds performances to raise funds for families in need of a helping hand.

Band Together events have helped raise over $1.3 million for local charities and families. The group worked with the late Paul Newman and Meryl Streep to raise money to protect Connecticut farmland, and was featured in a New York Times article.

An artist and a criminalist

Kinstler has painted portraits of seven presidents and numerous government officials and celebrities. His portraits of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford are the official White House portraits.

Other portrait subjects painted by Kinstler have included Tony Bennett, James Cagney, Katharine Hepburn, Mary Tyler Moore, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Donald Trump, Tennessee Williams and astronaut Alan Shepard.

In 2005, PBS aired a documentary on his career.

Lee, who has appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows and hosted his own show on Court TV, has been a prominent player in many of the most challenging cases of the last 40 years. He has worked with law enforcement agencies to help solve more than 6,000 cases.

His testimony figured prominently in the O. J. Simpson trial, and in the conviction of woodchipper murderer Richard Crafts. He served as Connecticut’s public safety commissioner for two years and as the state’s chief criminalist from 1979 to 2000.

Benefits scholarships

Proceeds from the gala will be used to support the Housatonic Community College Foundation’s scholarship fund, which disburses about $150,000 annually to HCC students.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Beacon Hall events center on the HCC campus in downtown Bridgeport.

Tickets are $250 apiece, and will be available until Nov. 7. For information contact Emily Hyde at 203-332-5038 or

—as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald