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DAVID B. McGRATH

McGRATH DAVID BLACK McGRATH David B. McGrath, 84, a career CIA officer, died at George Washington University Hospital on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, after a fall. A resident of Washington, DC, David was born and raised in South Dartmouth, Mass. He attended Holderness Academy, and Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1951, and then joined the CIA. He served in Japan, Hong Kong, and Brazil. David immersed himself in the culture and language of each country in which he served, and brought to his analyses a historical depth and understanding of the nuances of local politics that was frequently at odds with what Washington wanted to hear. David was an avid naturalist and became a passionate environmentalist. After retiring from the CIA in 1975, he worked at the Interior Department focusing mainly on the implementation of the International Convention for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. He received a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences from American University, was executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and later served on the boards of the Rachel Carson Council and the Audubon Naturalist Society. Issues of species extinction, global warming, and the overuse of pesticides were matters of daily concern to him. In recent years he became an outspoken proponent of nonviolence . He was writing a novel about Latin American geopolitics at the time of his death. A warm, kind, humorous, and erudite man, David was deeply loved by his family and friends. He loved to sail, was a wonderful cook, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of history and the classics. He was a great storyteller and loved to sing American folk songs and Brazilian bossa nova late into the night. David is survived by his wife Cynthia K. McGrath and his children Toby, Jamal, Jane, Susan, Elizabeth, and Angus; grandchildren Emily, Hannah, Ruby, Hans, Ben, Max, Lucy, Rhiannon, Callum, Miguel, and SalomC#o; step-daughters Alden and Leslie Bumstead; step-grandchildren Kaia, Arlo, Jonas, Gillian, Griffin, Quentin, and Cameron. He is also survived by his sister Jane Huber of Royal Oak, Michigan, and his former wife Sally V. McGrath, of Corrales, New Mexico. Donations may be made to the Audubon Naturalist Society, www.audubonnaturalist.org A Memorial Service will be held on November 10 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. Burial will take place at a later date in Padanaram Cemetery, South Dartmouth, MA.Padanaram Cemetery, South Dartmouth, MA.


Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 27, 2012
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