T. Edward Braswell Jr.
Senate committee counsel

T. Edward Braswell Jr., a chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee for much of the Cold War who also chaired the Alexandria City Planning Commission, died Feb. 23 at Goodwin House retirement home in Alexandria. He was one day short of his 93rd birthday.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said his son Harry A. Braswell.

Mr. Braswell worked for the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1953 to 1976 and developed a reputation as publicity averse but “an extremely potent influence in his own right,” journalist Robert Sherrill wrote in the New York Times in 1970.

Mr. Braswell later worked in private legal practice and then ran his own firm in Arlington County for many years.

For nearly 30 years until retiring in 1993, Mr. Braswell chaired the Alexandria Planning Commission and worked to preserve many historic neighborhoods of the city. He was a leader in efforts to control waterfront development and urban renewal in the King Street area.

In the 1970s, he participated in the creation of Founders Park on the Alexandria waterfront after a plan to build apartment towers ended in a land-title dispute. In the early 1990s, he helped scuttle a deal to build a new football stadium for the Washington Redskins in Alexandria.

Thomas Edward Braswell Jr. was a native of Elm City, N.C., and a 1942 graduate of Duke University in Durham, N.C. After serving in the Army Air Forces in India during World War II, he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1948.

His marriage to Jeff Armstrong ended in divorce. Their son John M. Braswell died in 2013.

Survivors include three sons, Harry A. Braswell of The Plains, Va., Thomas E. Braswell III of Ocean City Md., and Andrew S. Braswell of El Monte, Calif.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein