ROBERT LAMB, JR.
I first met Mr. Lamb in San Francisco when we found ourselves thrust onto a dinner platform as the only persons of color at a national meeting of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Among others on the platform were United States Attorney General John Mitchell, Senator George Murphy, Governor Ronald Reagan and Ambassador Shirley Temple Black. Mr. Lamb and I suddenly realized we had somehow been "showcased" by our hosts in an environment neither of us would have chosen if full disclosure had been made. This was about 1973 and the beginning of a close brotherly friendship.
It was about that time that Robert Lamb, Jr. was assigned by the Community Relations Service as director of the regional office in Seattle, a position he held with great distinction until his death. He had the unquestioned respect of persons in the public and private sectors for his capacity to avoid conflict or to ameliorate it. He understood police work, having risen to the rank of Captain in the Atlantic City Police Department earlier in his career. He was respected by police authorities locally and nationally. He understood the problems of ethnic groups, he being a strong and proud African American. He was respected by Native Americans, European Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. A man of great physical stature, he was a quiet conciliator despite a booming voice and a commanding presence.
A strong believer in the principles which make our nation great, Robert Lamb, Jr. was always in the forefront of the battle for human dignity and human rights for all persons everywhere. His positive influence and belief in democracy will be remembered by all of us for many years to come.
We will miss him.
Charles Z. Smith