The flamboyant Mr. Strauss held several influential positions in politics and government — Democratic national chairman, special trade representative and Middle East troubleshooter during the Carter administration, and first American ambassador to Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
1972 Dallas lawyer Robert Strauss smiles after appearing on "Face the Nation" on CBS. Strauss was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee after Jean Westwood resigned the post. He took charge of a fractious, debt-ridden party and, in four years, not only restored it to solvency but also charmed and harangued old-line party bosses and new-wave "McGovernites" into a semblance of pragmatic party unity. Charles Tasnadi/AP Buy Photo