Adrian Fisher, diplomat, law school dean and one-time counsel for The Washington Post, died Friday at the age of 69. Here an old friend and colleague, Lucius Battle, remembers him:
In a yet unsung era, the Truman-Acheson administration, it was my great fortune to share struggles and foxholes with Adrian Fisher. Reverence and nostalgia for that administration would come later. But it had not come thus far. We received more stones and arrows than bouquets. And the search for right answers on a day-to-day basis was unglamorous and sometimes rugged stuff. Adrian--we called him Butch--was a worthy associate. He searched doggedly for truth and clearly established the enemy, and the identity of both seemed apparent to him, even when it was we ourselves on whom he turned the harsh lights. His was the cruel pursuit of the best in all of us. Some had much to give. Others not so much. He was one of those with much to give.
His judgment of his fellows was fair but firm and tough. He would not tolerate deceit or sham, and I never knew him to engage in either. There was simple honesty and humility about him found in few people.
Ambition, if it conflicted with a higher order of obligation, was not for him. He was always in the mainstream of the big events but happy to stay out of the limelight and off the top rung of history.
But he had a part in the Nuremberg trials, was a fighter of Joseph McCarthy, helped defend the presidency in the firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, struggled to fulfill the need for sensible disarmament, taught humane law, defended the oppressed and underprivileged--not a bad agenda all that.
Butch was a special mixture of the grandeur and simplicity of the human spirit. He had a clear sense of direction, a set of consistent convictions, a remarkable mind, boundless energy. And was, above all, a loyal friend.