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Richard Lehman, 83; CIA official began daily presidential briefings

February 23, 2007|From the Washington Post

Richard Lehman, a CIA official credited with creating the president's daily intelligence briefing and who became chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which oversees government intelligence analysis, died Saturday at a hospice in Concord, N.H., after a stroke. He was 83.

Lehman worked at the CIA from 1949 to 1982. He received a CIA Trailblazer Award for creating the President's Intelligence Checklist for President Kennedy in 1961. The checklist, initially known by the acronym PICL and pronounced "pickle," was later renamed the President's Daily Brief.

The written briefing, which has become standard practice, informs the president and other senior policymakers about intelligence developments worldwide. Lehman had a prominent role in keeping Kennedy informed of developments during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and became a CIA transition liaison for new presidents.

He spent much of his career in the Office of Current Intelligence and was its director from 1970 to 1975. He also created the National Intelligence Daily, a classified daily newspaper. He was chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1979 to 1981.

He twice received the Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA's highest award.

In retirement, he helped start a consulting business of retired intelligence officers.

Lehman was a St. Louis native and 1944 graduate of Harvard University. After Army service in World War II, he stayed on with the occupation forces in Japan. In 1949, he received a master's degree in Russian politics from the University of Virginia.

Survivors include two sons, Michael Lehman of Concord and David Lehman of Lexington, Mass.; a sister, Lois Knaus of Chevy Chase, Md.; and six grandchildren.

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