Obituary of Ambassador Ogden Rogers Reid
March 2, 2019
Ogden Rogers Reid- beloved husband of Mary Louise Reid (nee Stewart), died peacefully at home in his sleep on Saturday, March 2nd in Waccabuc, New York. Born in New York City in 1925 to Ogden Mills Reid and Helen Rogers Reid and nicknamed "Brownie" after his brother "Whitie." He graduated from The Buckley School and Deerfield Academy. In 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army, ultimately serving in the 11th Airborne Division during World War II. After he was discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1945, he attended Yale University, graduating in 1949. He married Mary Louise Stewart in 1949, and joined the family's newspaper, The New York Herald Tribune, starting as a mail clerk and then a reporter and photographer. He succeeded his older brother Whitelaw Reid in 1953 as Publisher and Editor. The paper was sold to John Hay Whitney in 1958. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Mr. Reid as United States Ambassador to the State of Israel, where he worked with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion on the first defense support arrangements between the two nations.
After returning home in 1961, he was appointed by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller as Chairman of the New York State Commission for Human Rights. In 1962 he was elected as a Republican Congressman representing Westchester County, and subsequently served six terms. He ran as a Democratic candidate for his final term because he could not support President Richard Nixon and the continuation of the Vietnam War effort. During his time in Congress, he was a supporter of anti-poverty programs, instrumental civil rights legislation--including as sponsor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965--urban renewal programs, protections against housing discrimination, and laws to safeguard against judicial attacks on the rights of reporters. He worked tirelessly for many years creating a Federal daycare program that passed both Houses of Congress but was ultimately vetoed by President Richard Nixon. In February 1965, he traveled to Selma, Alabama to help win the release from jail of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at the time of the first Selma civil rights march. He unsuccessfully entered the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1974, and was subsequently appointed Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hugh Carey administration. He resigned in 1977 after a disagreement with the Governor over a DEC lawsuit filed against General Electric to halt their discharge of highly-toxic chemicals into the Hudson River. General Electric was ultimately required to cease further pollution and to fund the cleanup of the river, a New York State issue which continues to this day. Reid then ran unsuccessfully for Westchester County Executive in 1983 before entering private life, where he served on a number of public and private boards and was able to spend more time pursuing his lifelong love of sailing. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise Reid, six children: Stewart Mills Reid, Michael Whitelaw Reid, William Rogers Reid, Elisabeth Reid Taylor, Ogden Mills Reid, and David Whitelaw Reid; and nineteen grandchildren. His elder brother, Whitelaw Reid, predeceased him in 2009, as did his sister Elisabeth in 1924. There will be a funeral service at the Rye Presbyterian Church in Rye, NY on Saturday, March 9th at 10 am. Entombment at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the Reid family respectfully requests donations in Ogden Reid's honor in keeping with his love for animals, the environment, and help for our inner cities to the World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Fresh Air Fund, sponsored for many years by The New York Herald Tribune and supporting summer outdoor programs for low-income communities in New York State.
Share a Memory
The Obituaries are currently being upgraded. Please contact us to report any issues.