Irvine, Reed (John) 1922-2004
IRVINE, Reed (John) 1922-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born September 29, 1922, in Salt Lake City, UT; died of complications following a stroke November 16, 2004, in Rockville, MD. Consumer advocate, economist, and author. Irvine was the founder of the watchdog group Accuracy in Media (AIM). A graduate of the University of Utah, where he earned a B.A. in 1942, Irvine acted as an intelligence officer in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, he returned to school, first at the University of Washington and then attending Oxford University on a Fulbright scholarship. He graduated from Oxford in 1951 and was hired as an economist at the Federal Reserve System board of governors. From 1963 until 1977 he was international finance adviser for the Far East section. It was while working for the Federal Reserve that he got his idea to form AIM out of frustration with what he considered to be the slanted liberal perspective of the media. Founded in 1969, AIM often worked to get equal air time on television and space in newspapers for its more conservative views, and Irvine also wrote a syndicated column that was printed in about one hundred newspapers. The organization saw its most influential period during the years Ronald Reagan was president, declining somewhat in the 1990s as Irvine became increasingly preoccupied with investigating conspiracy theories, such as his belief that the crash of TWA Flight 800 was caused by a missile and that White House deputy counsel Vincent W. Foster Jr. might have actually been murdered, not a victim of suicide, in 1993. In 1985, Irvine started a venture similar to AIM, known as Accuracy in Academia, but its conservative agenda and desire to wield influence over academic freedoms found fewer sympathizers. Irvine remained chair of AIM until 2003, when he retired as chairman emeritus. He was the author of Media Mischief and Misdeeds (1984).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
New York Times, November 19, 2004, p. A23.
Washington Post, November 18, 2004, p. B8.