Steven A. Martindale, 46, a writer, lobbyist, lawyer and former Capitol Hill aide who was best known, perhaps, for his easy access to the highest social circles in Washington, died yesterday at George Washington University Hospital. He had AIDS.
In 1974, Mr. Martindale was the subject of a notable article in The Washington Post by Sally Quinn on the nature of the Washington social scene. The premise of the piece was that social success in Washington is a question of power rather than breeding or money: If you have power, you're in; if you don't, you're out. The story told how Steve Martindale had arrived here from Pocatello, Idaho, and made it anyway.
Although he had no power, Mr. Martindale could organize a guest list that included people who had great amounts of it, and for that he became famous. The Post story told how in 1972 he had helped make it possible for former Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono to stay in the United States. The government was planning to deport Lennon because he had been convicted of possessing marijuana. Ono wanted to stay here to search for her daughter, who was in the custody of her former husband.
Mr. Martindale suggested that they come to Washington and he would arrange a party where influential people might be enlisted in their cause. The result was an evening attended by former senator Charles Goodell (R-N.Y.), for whom Mr. Martindale had worked, Sen. and Mrs. Charles Percy (R-Ill.), Sen. and Mrs. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) and several prominent members of the media.
Liz Carpenter, who had served as press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson when she was first lady, said that occasion put Mr. Martindale on the map. Hostesses were said to be torn between envy and admiration.
Over the years, many of Mr. Martindale's other social triumphs were noted in the press. In addition to publicity, he received another valued recognition: In 1982, he was listed in the Green Book, the Washington social directory.
In 1987, he was part of another story by Quinn that noted the virtual disappearance of the traditional Washington hostess, "a victim of economics, feminism, power breakfasts, calorie-counting, teetotaling, the hick factor, tunnel vision, computer mentality and boring politicians and diplomats."
Mr. Martindale was one of the few men who had been great hosts in the old sense, and he was asked why he thought the situation had changed.
"The press scared everybody off," he said. "It cost a lot of money, and you got nothing. You were perceived as being too ambitious. And I began to say, 'Christ, I've had these people 20 times, and they don't really care about me. Why bother?' "
Although disenchanted with his former role as a host, Mr. Martindale continued his social connections. As he told Quinn in 1974, "I guess once you've lived in Washington you can't go back to Pocatello."
Born in Idaho and reared there and in Utah, Mr. Martindale graduated from Stanford University and then attended law school at the University of Utah. Active in Republican politics, he decided to come to Washington to work for Sen. Goodell. He eventually received a law degree from American University.
After Goodell left the Senate in 1971, Mr. Martindale worked for the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm. He also was a consultant, literary agent and lobbyist for various causes.
In recent years he had been an associate of Saudi Arabian billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. He wrote a book about Khashoggi called "By Hook or by Crook" that was published in Britain in 1989. An American edition was held up because of litigation.
At his death, Mr. Martindale was working on an article for Washingtonian magazine on his struggle against AIDS. The magazine said it planned to publish it in a forthcoming issue.
Mr. Martindale's survivors include his parents, Clarissa and Addington Martindale of Pocatello, and a brother, Keith Martindale of Montpelier, Idaho.
Boris Dmitrieff, 97, a retired electrical engineer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who as a young man had served as a military attache' at the Imperial Russian Embassy in Washington, died of cardiorespiratory arrest June 11 at the National Hospital for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.
Mr. Dmitrieff, who lived in Arlington, was a native of Russia. During World War I, he served as an officer in the Imperial Russian army.
He came to the United States in 1917 as a military attache' at the Imperial Russian Embassy. After the revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power in November 1917, he moved to Michigan, where he worked for the Ford Motor Co.
He returned here in the early 1920s as an electrical engineer at the Potomac Electric Power Co. During World War II, he worked at the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center. He transferred to Walter Reed after the war. He retired in 1963.
He was a life member of the American Society of Military Engineers.
His marriage to Myra Dmitrieff ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Eleonore Dmitrieff of Arlington; a daughter from his first marriage, Olga Oliver of Arlington; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
JOHN THOMAS BIRMINGHAM
John Thomas Birmingham, 70, a retired electronics engineer with the David W. Taylor Ship Research and Development Center at Carderock, died June 7 at the Fairfield Nursing Home in Crownsville, Md. He had a stroke.
Mr. Birmingham, a former resident of Kensington, was born in Girardville, Pa. He attended the University of Virginia. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force in Europe.
In 1947, Mr. Birmingham moved to the Washington area and went to work at the Carderock facility. He retired in 1976.
Mr. Birmingham was a member of the Argyle Country Club. In 1980 he moved from Kensington to Frederick, Md., and in 1988 he moved to Annapolis.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Birmingham, whom he married in 1946, of Annapolis; four children, John Birmingham of Frederick, William Birmingham of Gaithersburg and Michael Birmingham and Kathy Lyle, both of Pasadena, Md.; four sisters, Virginia Kohler of Arlington, Dorothy Cavanough of Reading, Pa., Isabel Davidson of Ashland, Pa., and Margaret Lesher of Pottsville, Pa.; and six grandchildren.
JO EVELYN McCLENNY
Jo Evelyn McClenny, 55, a secretary to Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice and a veteran of 26 years of federal government service, died of cancer June 13 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Mrs. McClenny, who lived in Arlington, was born in Wilson Mills, N.C. She first moved to Washington in 1964, lived here for four years, then moved away and returned in 1969. In 1975 she moved to Newport News, then returned to this area in 1982.
Before working for Rice, she had been a personal secretary to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and before that secretary to arms negotiator Paul M. Nitze.
Survivors include her husband, Charles McClenny of Arlington; four sisters, Merle U. Thornton of Four Oaks, N.C., Jackie U. Pittman of Raleigh, N.C., Doris U. Trabant of Tierra Verde, Fla., and Marcia U. Vail of Cape Coral, Fla.; and two brothers, V.J. Underwood of New Bern, N.C., and Billy Underwood of Four Oaks.