Richard IchordLast HUAC chairmanNEVADA, Mo. -- Former Rep...


December 26, 1992

Richard Ichord

Last HUAC chairman

NEVADA, Mo. -- Former Rep. Richard Ichord, who fought off accusations of repression and red-baiting to keep alive the House Committee on Un-American Activities, died yesterday at age 66.

Mr. Ichord had been comatose and in critical condition since having a heart attack Dec. 18, said his daughter, Pam Ichord Ehlers.

The conservative Missouri Democrat retired from Congress in 1981 after 10 terms. He was the last chairman of the subversive-hunting committee known as HUAC and later named the Internal Security Committee. The committee was abolished in 1975. HUAC was created in 1945 and pursued fiercely controversial investigations of alleged Communists.

Richard M. Nixon, then a young congressman from California, vaulted into the national spotlight by conducting anti-Communist investigations under the panel's authority.

Mr. Ichord spent six years as chairman of the committee.

During his 1975 battle to keep the panel in operation, Mr. Ichord said that he remained "concerned about the threat of subversion today."

But the House voted 259-150 to kill the committee by shifting its jurisdiction to the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Ichord told the House at the time, "I am greatly concerned and alarmed at the trend in this country toward a general degradation of intelligence and security."

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, MrIchord became a key player on defense issues and was a major benefactor of Fort Leonard Wood, the sprawling Army post in his district. He chaired the Armed Services subcommittee on research and design, which allowed him to boost new technologies for the military.

"You can't be a leader with diplomacy alone," Mr. Ichord said in 1980 as he prepared to leave Congress. "Diplomatic power doesn't mean anything without the military power to back it up."

After retiring from Congress, Mr.Ichord worked as a Washington lawyer and lobbyist and was on several corporate boards. Last summer, he accompanied a group of U.S. business and political leaders on a goodwill trip to North Korea.

The native of Licking, Mo., divided his time in recent years between Washington and a cattle ranch in Waynesville, Mo., Mrs. Ehlers said.

Mr. Ichord was a Navy veteran of World War II and attended the University of Missouri, earning a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a law degree in 1952.

Mr. Ichord was elected to the Missouri House that year and served four terms, including one as speaker.

* Vincent Fourcade,58, whose sumptuous Rothschildean style decorated the homes of celebrities and inspired a set in the film "Bonfire of the Vanities," died of AIDS at his Paris home early Wednesday, his longtime partner Robert Denning said. Mr. Denning lived with Mr. Fourcade in New York during a joint 35-year career in which their interior designs became a symbol of wealth and status in Europe and the United States.

* Stanley Branche,a civil rights activist who went to prison for associating with the mob, died Tuesday in Philadelphia at age 59. Mr. Branche, former head of the Chester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Chester, a city outside Philadelphia, in 1967. He also lost two bids for Congress. During the 1960s, he boycotted merchants who refused to hire blacks and fought the Chester Housing Authority policy of evicting mothers of illegitimate children. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison in 1989 for participating in a collection scheme for Philadelphia crime boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.

* Isaac L. Auerbach,71, an early advocate of computer technology, died of leukemia Thursday at his home in Lower Merion, Pa. He played a role in several advances in early computer technology, such as the computerization of the ballistic missile early-warning system and of an airline reservation system and in developing communication between different computers. A frequent speaker on the benefits of computerization, Mr. Auerbach set up the International Federation for Information Processing in 1960 and frequently called together computer experts to explore possible cooperation and business ventures. He began his career as a research engineer at Sperry Univac, where he was a member of the team that developed the company's first computers. He joined Burroughs Corp. in 1949 and headed its defense, space and special projects division, where he worked on the first real-time computer-guidance system for the U.S. space program.

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