BALTIMORE — Former U.S. Rep. William S. Moorhead of Pittsburgh, who helped uncover military cost overruns and strengthened the public's right of access to government documents, has died. He was 64.
The 11-term Democrat died Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to Joann Rodgers, a hospital spokesman. She said it was against hospital policy to release details but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Moorhead had lung cancer.
Moorhead, a member of the House from 1958 to 1981, served on a number of important congressional committees and subcommittees.
As chairman of the foreign operations and government information subcommittee, he strengthened the public's right of access to government documents through the Freedom of Information Act of 1974 and wrote the Privacy Act of 1974, which restricted government dissemination of information about citizens.
Moorhead also helped uncover Air Force cost overruns in the construction of the C-5A cargo plane. And he helped pull New York City and Chrysler Corp. from the brink of financial ruin by initiating federal loan guarantees to rescue them.
His concept of a federal foundation to assist the arts led to establishment in 1965 of a foundation that was the forerunner of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1923, Moorhead received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
He was a member of the Allegheny County Housing Authority from 1956 to 1958, when he ran for the 14th Congressional District seat.
After leaving Congress he practiced law in Washington.