- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Luna Diamond, a former secretary for the National Council on the Arts, died Jan. 28 at an assisted-living facility in Potomac, after a long illness. She was 90.

A D.C. native, Mrs. Diamond was a member of the first graduating class at Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1933.

She attended the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, but dropped out after a year and a half to care for an ailing parent.

Mrs. Diamond enjoyed a 43-year career in government in which she served as a private secretary to Clinton P. Anderson, New Mexico Democrat, during his terms as a congressman, as secretary of agriculture in the Truman administration and as a senator.

She also served as president of the Senate Secretaries Association.

In 1965, Mrs. Diamond left Capitol Hill to join Roger Stevens as his assistant at the newly formed National Endowment for the Arts, where she later served as a congressional liaison under Chairman Nancy Hanks.

In addition, Mrs. Diamond was secretary for the National Council on the Arts for 15 years, during which she traveled and arranged council meetings all over the country.

Council member James Earl Jones described her as the council’s own “Jewish mother,” a sentiment shared by all on the advisory council.

Mrs. Diamond had been active in the arts and Jewish communities of Washington since she was a 5-year-old patients at St. Elizabeths Hospital.

She was one of 350 women included in the 2002 book “Women of Achievement in Maryland History,” and received numerous awards, including being named the Senior Volunteer of the Year from the Jewish Council for the Aging in 1994 and the B’nai B’rith Volunteer of the Year and Woman of Valor awards.

In addition, Mrs. Diamond received the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington’s Distinguished Service award in 1986.

She served as president of the Washington section of the National Council of Jewish Women and president of the Washington Guitar Society. She also was on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Jewish American Cultural Foundation, University of the District of Columbia and the Washington Ballet.

Mrs. Diamond was married for 57 years to the now-deceased Norman Diamond. She is survived by a son, Monty Diamond of New York; a daughter, Sarah Diamond of Aspen, Colo.; and a grandson.

Donations can be made to the National Council of Jewish Women, D.C. Section,1707 L St. NW, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20036; the Washington Performing Arts Society, 2000 L St. NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036; or the Development Office of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852.

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