Potter, Neal 1915–2008

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Potter, Neal 1915–2008

(A. Neal Potter, Alfred Neal Potter)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 22, 1915, in Arlington, VA; died of congestive heart failure, May 27, 2008, in Gaithersburg, MD. Municipal executive, economist, educator, and author. Potter served his country as an income analyst during World War II, taught college-level economics classes, and devoted much effort to national and international conservation initiatives, but he is remembered for his contributions to the community in which he lived: Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of the nation's capital. After Potter's family lost their farm to development in 1920, in a manner both swift and brutal, he developed a lifelong commitment to planning and community development that was strictly controlled, deeply researched, and so carefully measured that the glacial advance of progress frustrated many of his colleagues. Yet Potter was repeatedly elected to municipal office by citizens who opposed excessive development, even in the face of lost tax revenue during a period of economic recession. In the 1940s Potter became a founding member of the United World Federalists—proponents of peace, human rights, and environmental preservation. Beginning in the 1950s, he was a research associate of Resources for the Future, a research agency devoted to the topic of natural resources. In the 1960s he served as the president of the Montgomery County Citizens Planning Association, and, from 1970 to 1990 and again in 1994, he was an elected member of the Montgomery County Council. For one term, beginning in 1990, Potter served as the county executive, running on a platform of rural preservation, slow growth, and limited development. He retired from public life in 1998, but remained a lifelong advocate of the World Federalist mission. Potter was a research associate for the book Trends in Natural Resource Commodities: Statistics of Prices, Output, Consumption, Foreign Trade, and Employment in the United States, 1870-1957 (1962). He was a coauthor of the monograph World Prospects for Natural Resources: Some Projections of Demand and Indicators of Supply to the Year 2000 (1964) and the author of Natural Resource Potentials of the Artartic [sic] (1969).



Washington Post, May 30, 2008, p. B7.

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Potter, Neal 1915–2008

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