David Silver, 82, a leader of an investment fund association who played a key role in the growth of mutual funds and individual retirement accounts as investment opportunities for middle-class investors, died of pulmonary interstitial fibrosis April 30 at Montgomery Hospice Casey House. He was a resident of Bethesda.

His son, Daniel Silver, confirmed his death.

Mr. Silver spent 25 years with the Investment Company Institute, including 14 years as president and chief executive. His work for the institute, a national association of U.S. investment companies, included representing various funds and trusts before Congress and regulatory agencies.

He joined the organization as an associate counsel in 1966 when it represented an industry with assets of about $35 billion. At the time of his retirement in 1991, the industry had grown to have $1.6 trillion in assets, according to a statement from the institute.

David Silver was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from City College of New York in 1953, served in the Army and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1958. Before joining the Investment Company Institute, he was a lawyer with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He was a founder of ICI Mutual Insurance Co., which provides liability and fidelity bond coverage for U.S. mutual funds, and worked there for about 10 years after his retirement from the Investment Company Institute. He also advised foreign governments on mutual fund regulation.

He was a member of the Cosmos Club.

His first wife, Meryl Young, died in 1990 after a 37-year marriage.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Ann Schwartz of Bethesda; three sons from his first marriage, Daniel Silver of Boston, Matthew Silver of Karmiel, Israel, and Joshua Silver of Bethesda; a brother; a sister; and six grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes