NYTimes Obituary for Kenneth W. Dam

Kenneth Dam, Deputy in Reagan and George W. Bush Cabinets, Dies at 89

Kenneth W. Dam, who was deputy secretary of state when the Soviet Union began to implode during the Reagan administration, and who choreographed a global chokehold on funding for terrorist groups as deputy treasury secretary under George W. Bush, died on May 31 at his home in Long Grove, Ill. He was 89.

His death was confirmed by his son, Eliot.

Educated in a one-room schoolhouse in Kansas, Mr. Dam became a full professor at the University of Chicago Law School in 1964 and served through 2004, when he was named a senior lecturer and professor emeritus.

He was the university’s provost from 1980 to 1982 when Reagan recruited him to be deputy to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, his former colleague at the University of Chicago.

He and Mr. Shultz were credited with restoring stability to the State Department following the tumultuous tenure of Alexander M. Haig Jr. (who famously, and erroneously, declared, “I am in control here, at the White House” after President Reagan was shot in 1981).

They helped pave the way for détente between the United States and the Soviet Union, laying the groundwork for Washington’s embrace of Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika beginning in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Dam was recalled to Washington from his Chicago professorship and sworn in as deputy to Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill less than a month before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. He was then assigned to coordinate international initiatives by 130 nations to identify and eradicate the sources of financing for terrorist groups.

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