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Former institute president dies

Aspen Times Staff

David McLaughlin, former president and CEO of The Aspen Institute, died Wednesday while on vacation in Alaska.McLaughlin served the institute in several capacities over the years, as a trustee, nonexecutive chairman of the board and president and CEO from 1988 to 1997. When he died, he was a member of the Council of Honorary Trustees.In a letter to friends of the institute, Bill Mayer, chairman of the board of trustees, and Walter Isaacson, president and CEO, said McLaughlin’s greatest accomplishment for the organization was to save the Aspen Meadows campus through long negotiations with the city of Aspen and other landowners.After recovering the institute’s holdings, Mayer and Isaacson wrote, McLaughlin “executed an ambitious $20 million capital campaign, allowing the buildings to be renovated for ongoing, year-round use, and the Institute’s ‘heart and soul,’ as he called it, to be firmly re-established in Aspen.”McLaughlin also played a major role in establishing the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. McLaughlin’s son, Bill, was a member of the 2001 class of Henry Crown fellows.In 1997, the institute honored McLaughlin with its annual Public Service Award, recognizing his service not only to the organization but to other companies and institutions.Mayer and Isaacson referred to McLaughlin as “a true champion of the work, history and future of the Institute.”In addition to his service for the institute, McLaughlin was also a jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force and an executive or board member for numerous large organizations, including Champion International, Toro Co., Dartmouth College, Orion Safety Products, CBS, ARCO, Chase Manhattan and the American Red Cross.He leaves behind his wife, Judy McLaughlin, and four children, Bill, Wendy, Susan and Jay.


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