George Roth, NSA chief investigator

February 05, 1993|By Staff Report

George H. Roth, who had been an FBI agent, chief of investigations for the National Security Agency and an aide to Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, died Tuesday of lung cancer at his home in Preston.

Mr. Roth, who was 65 and had lived in Glen Burnie before moving to Preston about 20 years ago, owned the Gulf Intelligence Agency, which handled private investigations.

He had retired in 1972 as chief of investigations for the National Security Agency, a post he held since the late 1950s. He had served as a special agent of the FBI from 1950 until 1957.

Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. of the Circuit Court in Anne Arundel County, who had worked for Mr. Roth and later served as his boss, described him as a good friend who had been "responsible for my career."

He said his work from 1962 until 1967 as a special agent at the National Security Agency under Mr. Roth had helped him as a lawyer and as Anne Arundel County State's Attorney, the office he held before becoming a judge.

Mr. Roth worked as his chief investigator from 1975 until 1980 while he was prosecutor.

"Without a doubt, he was one of the best investigators I've ever seen, " the judge said, adding that he was also a "superb administrator."

The Oxford native was reared in Baltimore, where he graduated from the Polytechnic Institute and earned an associate degree at the University of Baltimore and a law degree from the Eastern College of Commerce and Law, which was merged into the university. He served in the Navy, reaching the rank of lieutenant in the Reserve.

In 1968, he was granted a congressional fellowship and a leave from NSA and worked in the office of then-Republican Rep. Clark MacGregor of Minnesota and then in the vice president's office, where he wrote speeches and news releases in addition to doing liaison work with federal agencies.

After his retirement, he served as chief of police in Trappe in 1974.

While working at NSA, he represented it on the Security Committee of the U.S. Intelligence Board and was a member of three employee groups: the Pistol Club, the Flying Club and the Horsemen's Club, for which he served as president.

Services were to be conducted at 11 a.m. today at the Newnam Funeral Home in Easton.

He is survived by his wife, the former Nancy Newcomb Rainaldi; five sons, Easton police Sgt. Gary Roth, Anne Arundel County police Lt. Richard Roth of Severn, Adam B. Roth of Stafford, Va., David A. Powers of Ridgely and Joseph N. Rainaldi of Preston; three daughters, Lynn E. Barrier and Sharon A. Doege of Salisbury, and Dawn M. Newton of Metairie, La.; his mother, Margaret E. Roth of Cambridge; and 10 grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Eastern Shore Area Regional Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Ave., Easton.

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