Strauss, Robert Schwarz

Strauss, Robert Schwarz, 1918–2014, American lawyer and government official, b. Lockhart, Tex., grad. Univ. of Texas Law School (1941). The quintessential Washington insider and a partner in one of the world's largest and most influential law firms, Strauss began in politics as an undergraduate (1937), aiding in Lyndon Johnson's first congressional campaign. In the 1950s he worked on the campaigns of Johnson and John Connally, and later helped Connally win (1962) the Texas governorship. He managed Hubert Humphrey's 1968 presidential campaign in Texas and two years later, while Democratic party treasurer, cut the party's large debt by two thirds. As chairman (1973–76) of the Democratic National Committee, he was an important figure in Jimmy Carter's presidential win, and he was Carter's special trade representative (1977–79) and Middle East envoy (1979). After Carter's defeat (1980), Strauss was an adviser to Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and served as ambassador to the Soviet Union (1991) and then Russia (1991–92). He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Carter in 1981.

See K. J. McGarr, The Whole Damn Deal: Robert Strauss and the Art of Politics (2011).

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