THOMAS / PETER RIEHLE

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  • "Much love and caring to Richard, and the Riehle Family from..."
    - Jennifer Ruscoe
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    - Ginny Brennan
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    - Tina Ford
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'IEHLE THOMAS RIEHLE PETER RIEHLE Thomas H. Riehle, a well-known and highly regarded expert on public-opinion research, died Saturday, January 3, 2015, at his home in Washington, DC. He was 58. Riehle's unexpected passing came only a day after the untimely death of his 22-year-old son, Peter C. Riehle, a senior at the University of Michigan in Flint. Peter died in Bethesda, MD, on Friday, January 2, 2015. Over the course of a 35-year career, Thomas Riehle amassed an enviable record of accurately predicting the results of elections, both Presidential and congressional, and worked with some of the biggest names in political and market research. As a former journalist, Riehle understood the needs of under-the-gun reporters and editors and had the rare ability not only to interpret polling data accurately but to turn his insights into accessible and smartly written articles. Once deadlines were past, he loved nothing better than debating political events of the day over bourbon or a pint. Among the news organizations he worked with are The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, The Economist and the Associated Press. After graduation from Yale, Riehle worked at The Barron Report and as an associate editor at National Journal before his passion for politics took him in another direction. He cut his teeth as a pollster with Patrick Caddell and then Hart-Riehle-Hartweig Research Associates before branching out on his own. However, he was in business for himself only briefly before being enlisted by Ipsos, the Paris-based global market research firm, to set up a political polling operation in Washington. He became founding President and COO of Ipsos Public Affairs in 2001. After leaving Ipsos, Riehle, a Democrat, joined forces with V. Lance Tarrance Jr., a Republican, to form RT Strategies, which did polling for the esteemed Cook Political Report, among others. In 2010, Riehle was appointed Senior Vice-President for Public Affairs at YouGov, a post he held until 2014, overseeing the Economist/YouGov Poll. Recently, he had again formed his own firm, Riehle Research. Riehle won the 2010 Pollie Award for Political Grand Marketer of the Year from the American Association of Political Consultants, which recognized his work for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. He won the 2004 Advertising Research Foundation's Silver Grand Oglivy Award for work he did for Microsoft. Riehle was an activist in his Capitol Hill neighborhood and served as vice-chairman of Community Action Group, a nonprofit drug and alcohol residential treatment center. For many years when Peter was growing up, Thom Riehle served as an Assistant Scoutmaster and watched proudly as his son earned top honors as an Eagle Scout. Peter, who attended Capitol Hill Cluster School and graduated from School Without Walls high school, showed the same commitment as his parents to improving the lives of his neighbors. For his Eagle Scout community service project, he led a team that refurbished a park near the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, rebuilding benches and cleaning up refuse. Born in Menomonee Falls, WI, Thom Riehle was the sixth of seven children born to Herbert and Mary Margaret Riehle. He is survived by Barbara, his wife of 28 years; his daughter, Anna; three brothers, Richard, Robert and James Riehle; three sisters, LaMer, Peggy and Jane. Peter Riehle is survived by his mother and sister; 13 aunts and uncles; and 23 cousins, all of whom adored his sweet nature and quick wit. A memorial service for Thomas and Peter Riehle will be held later this month in Washington. In lieu of flowers, donations in Thom's name to Community Action Group, http://www.communityactiongroup.org/, would be appreciated. Please make donations in Peter's name to Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, 215 G Street NE Washington, DC 20002.A memorial service for Thomas and Peter Riehle will be held later this month in Washington. In lieu of flowers, donations in Thom's name to Community Action Group, http://www.communityactiongroup.org/, would be appreciated. Please make donations in Peter's name to Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, 215 G Street NE Washington, DC 20002.

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 8, 2015
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