|Justice Paul Graves was born in Gouverneur in 1907. His father was Perle Atwell "PA" Graves, administrative clerk to Assemblyman Frank L. Seaker and the first cousin of Frank’s wife, Nora. Frank Seaker and PA Graves were partners in the Seaker Graves Motor Company. Paul Graves' mother was Rhoda Fox Graves, who served in both houses of the state legislature for 22 years and held the distinction of being the first woman ever elected a member of the New York State Senate.
Paul Graves attended Gouverneur schools and graduated from Storm-King Preparatory School, Cornwall-on-Hudson, attended Colgate University, and received his law degree from Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1935. He worked for the law firm of Rann, Vaughn, Brown and Sturtevant and the firm of Babcock, Hollister, Newbury and Russ in Buffalo, NY.
In June, 1944, he was commissioned a lieutenant JG in the Naval Reserve and ordered to Active duty in the South Pacific. Following his discharge, he returned to Gouverneur, established a law practice, and managed the family farms.