- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Paul Leventhal, a specialist in nuclear proliferation, died April 10 of skin cancer at his home in Chevy Chase. He was 69.

Mr. Leventhal earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Mr. Leventhal founded the Nuclear Control Institute (NCI) in 1981 and served as its president until June 2002.

He directed NCI as a Web-based program that maintains a collection of NCI and Senate papers spanning more than 30 years at the National Security Archive. Mr. Leventhal also wrote five books for the institute.

Mr. Leventhal came to Washington in 1969 as press secretary to Sen. Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, after a decade of political and investigative reporting for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Post and Newsday.

In 1970, he took a leave from Mr. Javits’ staff to serve as campaign press secretary to Sen. Charles E. Goodell, New York Republican. In l972, he served as congressional correspondent for the National Journal before returning to Capitol Hill to pursue legislative and investigative responsibilities.

Mr. Leventhal also was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Program for Science and International Affairs, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and assistant administrator for policy and planning at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the 1980s, Mr. Leventhal organized NCI’s International Task Force on Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism. He served as special counsel to the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Sen. Abraham A. Ribicoff, Connecticut Democrat, from 1972 to 1976, and as staff director of the Senate nuclear regulation subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Gary W. Hart, Colorado Democrat, from 1979 to 1981.

Mr. Leventhal was responsible for the investigations that led to enactment of two landmark nuclear laws: the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, which made the Atomic Energy Commission into separate regulatory and promotional agencies, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, which established stricter controls on U.S. nuclear trade to combat the spread of nuclear weapons.

He also served as co-director of the bipartisan Senate special investigation of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and prepared the “lessons-learned” legislation enacted in 1980 to require preventive measures and emergency planning for future accidents.

He lectured in several countries on nuclear issues and was a distinguished visiting fellow at Cambridge University’s Global Security Program in 1991.

Franklin & Marshal College presented him its Alumni Medal in 1988 for distinguished professional accomplishment and contributions to society, and an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2001 when he delivered that year’s commencement address.

Mr. Leventhal is survived by his wife, Sharon Tanzer Leventhal of Chevy Chase; two sons, Josh Leventhal and Ted Leventhal of Chevy Chase; and two grandchildren.

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