Richard Lehman; Created President's Memo at CIA

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Richard Lehman, 83, 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 Feb. 17 at Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association Hospice House in Concord, N.H., after a stroke.

Mr. Lehman worked at the CIA from 1949 to 1982. He received a CIA Trailblazer Award for creating the President's Intelligence Checklist for President John F. 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. Mr. Lehman had a prominent role 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.

His decorations included two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA's highest award.

In retirement, he helped start a consulting business of retired intelligence officers called Striges and moved to Concord from McLean in 2001.

Mr. Lehman was a St. Louis native and 1944 graduate of Harvard University. After Army service during 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.

His marriage to Catherine Lehman ended in divorce.

His wife of 54 years, Diane Harris Lehman, died in 2002.

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

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