Richard Graham, 86

EEOC commissioner

September 29, 2007

Richard Alton Graham, a former member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and director of the National Teacher Corps, died of a stroke Monday at his home in Royal Oak on the Eastern Shore. He was 86.

Born in Milwaukee, he earned an engineering degree from Cornell University, a master's degree from Catholic University of America and a doctorate from Union Graduate School, where he also taught.

He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and in 1961 became a deputy to R. Sargent Shriver at the Peace Corps. He was Peace Corps director in Tunisia from 1963 to 1965.

President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him as one of the initial commissioners on the new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"He was dedicated to championing both the rights of women and Latinos," said daughter Peggy Sue "Busy" Graham of Royal Oak. "He fought for eliminating sex-segregated employment ads and was a co-founder and the first vice president of the National Organization for Women. He never lived a dull moment in his life."

In 1966, Mr. Johnson appointed Mr. Graham as the first director of the National Teacher Corps.

In 1973 he became executive director of Lawrence Kohlberg's Center for Moral Development at Harvard University. From 1975 to 1977, he was president of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., where he helped found the Goddard-Cambridge Center for Social Change.

Before retiring 25 years ago, he worked for Ashoka, an international entrepreneurial organization.

After living for many years in Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, Mr. Graham designed and built a home in Royal Oak in 1979, and lived there in retirement. He enjoyed working outdoors and planted numerous trees near his home.

No services are planned.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Nancy Aring; three sons, Charles Graham of Moscow, Idaho, Dick Graham of Laguna Beach, Calif., and John Graham of Potomac; another daughter, Nan Graham of New York City; a brother, Robert Graham of Simms, Texas; a sister, Sue Graham Mingus of New York City; 13 grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

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