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Dean Burch

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Subject: Barry Goldwater, Republican Party (United States), Federal Communications Commission, Rosel H. Hyde, Cable television in the United States
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Dean Burch

Dean Burch
Born Roy Dean Burch
(1927-12-20)December 20, 1927
Enid, Oklahoma, USA
Died August 4, 1991(1991-08-04) (aged 63)
Potomac, Maryland
Cause of death Bladder cancer
Alma mater University of Arizona
Occupation Attorney; lobbyist
Political party


Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1964-1965)
Spouse(s) Patricia Meeks Burch (m. 1961-1991; his death)

Shelly Burch Bennett
Dianne Ruth Butterfield

Dean A. Burch

Roy Dean Burch (December 20, 1927 – August 4, 1991) was an American lawyer and lobbyist who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from October 31, 1969 to March 8, 1974, during the administration of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon. From 1964 to 1965, he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee during the time of the Barry M. Goldwater presidential campaign.

Life and career

Burch was born in Enid, Oklahoma. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where he began his own law practice. Burch began working in 1955 on Senator Goldwater's staff. He headed the national party while Denison Kitchel, a Phoenix lawyer, was the national Goldwater campaign chairman. Because of the weak Republican performance in the 1964 elections, Burch was replaced early in 1965 by Ray C. Bliss of Ohio.

In 1968, Burch worked in the campaign to return Goldwater to the U.S. Senate for the seat vacated by retiring Democrat Carl Hayden. Because of his presidential nomination, Goldwater gave up his Senate seat but returned to the upper chamber after a four-year absence and served another eighteen years.

As the FCC chairman, Burch advocated for more and better programs for younger audiences. The networks soon revised the Saturday morning schedules. Under Burch, a study was conducted to determine whether one company should be allowed to own a daily newspaper and a television station in the same city. In 1975, shortly after Burch left the commission, the FCC unanimously prohibited the formation of new combinations of newspapers and broadcasting stations but allowed existing ones to continue.

In 1980, Burch was chief of staff on the Republican Ronald W. Reagan.

From 1959 to 1963 and again from 1965 to 1969, Burch was a partner in the law firm of Dunseath, Stubbs & Burch in Tucson; from 1975 to 1987, he was affiliated with Pierson, Ball & Dowd in Washington, D.C..

From 1987 until his death from bladder cancer in 1991 at the age of sixty-three, Burch was director general of Intelsat, the global satellite consortium. In the preceding decades, he was a telecommunications lawyer and White House counselor.


  • ObituaryNew York Times
Government offices
Preceded by
Rosel H. Hyde
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
October 1969–March 1974
Succeeded by
Richard E. Wiley
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