L. Richardson Preyer

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L. Richardson Preyer
L. Richardson Preyer.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Horace R. Kornegay
Succeeded by Walter E. Johnston, III
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
In office
February 17, 1962 – October 9, 1963
Appointed by John F. Kennedy
Preceded by new seat
Succeeded by Eugene Andrew Gordon
Personal details
Born (1919-01-11)January 11, 1919
Greensboro, North Carolina
Died April 3, 2001(2001-04-03) (aged 82)
Greensboro, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Princeton University
Harvard Law School

Lunsford Richardson Preyer (January 11, 1919 – April 3, 2001), who typically went by 'Richardson' or 'Rich,' was a jurist and a U.S. representative in Congress from North Carolina. He was the grandson of inventor Lunsford Richardson. His parents were William Yost Preyer (June 4, 1888 Ohio – 1970) and Mary Norris Richardson (1889–1969) daughter of Lunsford Richardson (1854–1919) and Mary Lynn Smith (1858–1940). He was married to Emily Irving Harris (1919–1999).

Preyer, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated from Woodberry Forest School and from Princeton University in 1941, with a B.A. majoring in English. At Princeton he was on the 150 lb. football team and the golf team and was vice-president of Tower Club. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1941 through 1946 serving as gunnery officer and executive officer on destroyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific. He received a Bronze Star for action at Okinawa. In 1949, he earned a law degree from Harvard Law School.

He worked for Vick Chemical Company in 1950 (founded by his grandfather) before serving as a North Carolina superior court judge from 1956 to 1961, when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. He resigned as a judge in 1963 and became a candidate for Governor of North Carolina. Preyer eventually lost in the 1964 Democratic Party primary runoff to another former judge, Dan K. Moore. I. Beverly Lake, Sr. was also a candidate in the Democratic primary.

After working as a vice president for North Carolina National Bank (today, Bank of America), Preyer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1968. He served six terms in Congress and was chairman of the House Ethics Committee in the 95th U.S. Congress. He also served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He was defeated for re-election in 1980 by Walter E. Johnston, III.

Rich Preyer died from cancer at the age of 82. The L. Richardson Preyer Federal Building in Greensboro is named in his honor. He and his wife, Emily, both received the North Carolina Award for Public Service.


Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Eugene Andrew Gordon
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Horace R. Kornegay
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Walter E. Johnston, III