Paul J. Aicher, 76, a businessman and philanthropist who...

August 20, 2002

Paul J. Aicher, 76, a businessman and philanthropist who pushed for civic dialogue on issues ranging from the Cold War to race relations, died yesterday in Pomfret, Conn., after a brief illness.

Mr. Aicher established Topsfield Foundation Inc. in 1982 to enhance civic engagement and improve public life in the United States. The foundation published a series of grass-roots peace directories and developed a news service that reported on international security issues.

He also was involved in the founding of OPTIONS, a disarmament-oriented speakers bureau based at Brown University, and ACCESS, a Washington-based information service focusing on international affairs.

He founded Study Circles Resource Center in 1989, which produced guides to dialogue and problem-solving. In 1995, the Los Angeles City Council turned to the Study Circles center for assistance after O.J. Simpson's murder trial.

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