Bill Brock, G.O.P. National Chairman After Watergate, Dies at 90



Adam Clymer | New York Times

Bill Brock, the former Tennessee senator who as party chairman revived and broadened the Republican Party machinery after Watergate to pave the way for Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, died on Thursday at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 90.

The cause was pneumonia, said Tom Griscom, a spokesman for the family.

Mr. Brock voted against the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a representative from Tennessee — a vote he later regretted — but as party leader he became an insistent voice for greater Republican efforts to win over Black voters.

As chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1977 through 1981, he clashed with Reagan over the Panama Canal treaties and the site of the 1980 national convention. (Mr. Brock argued for Detroit, a Black majority city; Reagan preferred Dallas.) But after winning the nomination, Reagan kept him on as party chairman and later chose him to be the United States trade representative and then secretary of labor.

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