WASHINGTON — Carl R. (Spitz) Channell, a conservative political fund-raiser who became the first person convicted in the Iran-Contra scandal, has died.
Channell, 44, died Sunday in a Washington hospital of pneumonia related to injuries suffered in a car accident.
Former Rep. Dan Kuykendall, a friend of Channell who worked on pro-Contra causes during the time Channell also was involved, said Channell had been undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer and had recovered enough to do consulting work.
But about two months ago, as he was getting out of his car near his office in southeast Washington, he was struck by a car, according to Kuykendall, a Tennessee Republican who is now a Capitol Hill lobbyist.
Channell operated a motel in West Virginia until 1979 when he became a major national fund-raiser for conservative causes. He founded or controlled numerous conservative organizations, including two political action committees, a tax-exempt foundation and Western Goals, an organization co-founded by the John Birch Society.