McLean, Virginia, 16 August 1995 -- I was saddened to learn of the passing of Lawrence R. Houston, CIA's first General Counsel who served with great distinction in that position from 1947 until his retirement in 1973. Larry Houston was a key architect in the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency, and during his long and remarkable career, he played a central role in virtually every significant Agency undertaking. Throughout it all--the triumphs and the controversies--Larry's hallmarks were his consummate legal skills, his deep sense of loyalty to CIA and to his country, and his unassailable integrity and honor. He was respected and admired by the hundreds of CIA officers who counted on his wise counsel over the years, and this service continued well after his retirement when he would frequently be called upon by his successors for the benefit of his unmatched insight and experience.
In recognition of his extraordinary record of public service, Larry was awarded the President's National Security Medal and CIA's Distinguished Intelligence Medal--the two highest honors an intelligence officer can receive. His 26 years of service as General Counsel was longer than the combined tenures of his eight successors.
Larry Houston is truly one of CIA's founding fathers and enduring
legends. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.