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Amory "Amo" Houghton Jr. (born August 7, 1926) is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of New York, a retired member of the House of Representatives, and member of one of upstate New York's most prominent families in business, the Houghton family.

Amo Houghton
Amo Houghton 108th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byStan Lundine
Succeeded byRandy Kuhl
Constituency34th district (1987–93)
31st district (1993–2003)
29th district (2003–05)
Personal details
Amory Houghton Jr.

(1926-08-07) August 7, 1926 (age 93)
Corning, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ruth Frances West (m. 1950, div. 1988)
Priscilla Dewey Houghton (m. 1989–2012, her death)
RelationsAmory Houghton (father)
Alanson B. Houghton (grandfather)
Alma materHarvard University
ProfessionBusiness executive
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1944–1946
RankPrivate first class
UnitUSS Macon (CA32)
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Battles/warsWorld War II

Early lifeEdit

The son of Amory Houghton and Laura DeKay Richardson, and the grandson of Alanson B. Houghton, Amory Houghton Jr. was born in Corning, New York.[1][2] He attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and was a member of the class of 1945.[3] Houghton later served as a member of the school's board of trustees.[3]

Military serviceEdit

In 1944, Houghton enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for World War II.[4] Assigned to USS Macon (CA-132) and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, he took part with his unit in activities associated with the Battle of the Caribbean.[4] Houghton attained the rank of private first class, and was discharged in 1946.[4]

Business careerEdit

He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts in 1950 and received his master of business administration degree from Harvard in 1952.[5]

Houghton spent his business career with his family's company, Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), a company founded in 1851 by his great-great-grandfather, Amory Houghton.[5] He joined the company in 1951, and worked as an accountant, process engineer, manufacturing foreman, and sales manager.[6] He joined the board of directors in 1955, became a vice president in 1957, and was appointed president in 1961.[5][6] From 1964 to 1983, Houghton served as Corning's chairman and chief executive officer.[5]

In addition to Corning Glass, his other business interests included membership on the board of directors of IBM, First National City Bank (later Citigroup), Procter & Gamble, Genentech, and B. F. Goodrich.[2][7]

U.S. CongressEdit

In 1986, Houghton was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican.[8] Houghton reportedly was among the richest members of the House, with a wealth of $475 million.[9]

Voting recordEdit

Houghton had a moderate voting record and was founder of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which he formed to encourage a more moderate stance to public issues.[10] He was frequently called upon to serve as a broker between Democratic and Republican members on critical issues since he was a champion for improving civility between political parties.[11] While he voted with Republicans on most issues relating to the budget, he also voted with the Democratic Party on issues of environmental protection, civil rights and funding for the arts and education.[12]

Committee membershipsEdit

He served on the International Relations and Ways and Means Committees.[13]


He was one of only four Republicans to vote against all the impeachment articles against President Clinton in 1998.[14]

In 2001, Houghton was one of only three Republicans to vote against permanently repealing the estate tax.[15]

On October 10, 2002, he was among the six House Republicans who voted against the resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq.[16]


Throughout his career Houghton was one of Upstate New York's most well known and respected members of Congress; he was usually re-elected with more than 65 percent of the vote.[17] He clashed occasionally with the increasingly Southern, socially conservative orientation of the party.[18] For example, Houghton was one of the most vocal pro-choice Republicans in Congress.[19]


On April 7, 2004, Houghton announced his intention not to seek a tenth term in Congress.[18] On January 3, 2005, Houghton's term expired and he was succeeded by John R. "Randy" Kuhl.[20]

He is currently a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[21]


In 1950, Houghton married Ruth Frances West of Waccabuc, New York.[22] Their children include Amory, Robert, Sarah, and Quincy.[23] After their 1988 divorce, in 1989 Houghton married Priscilla B. Dewey (1924–2012).[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Death Notice, Laura Richardson Houghton". The New York Times. New York, NY. April 12, 2003. p. 14.
  2. ^ a b Institute for Research in Biography (1965). Who's who in Commerce and Industry. 14. Chicago, IL: Marquis Who's Who. p. 627.
  3. ^ a b Brown, Jana (January 17, 2006). "Sesquicentennial Speaker: Amory Houghton, Jr. '45". St. Paul's School. Concord, NH.
  4. ^ a b c American Folklife Center (October 26, 2011). "Biographical Information, Amory Houghton Jr". Veterans History Project. Washington, DC: Library of Congress.
  5. ^ a b c d Ingham, John N. (1983). Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. H–M. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 627. ISBN 978-0-3132-1362-5.
  6. ^ a b "New GCW President, Other Chiefs Named". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. April 15, 1964. p. 4 – via
  7. ^ Directors & Boards. Washington, DC: Information for Industry, Inc. 1982. p. 48.
  8. ^ Lambert, Bruce (November 5, 1986). "Races for Congress are Close Upstate". The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 11.
  9. ^ Murray, Matthew (September 8, 2005). "Wealthiest Members See Their Fortunes Decline". Roll Call. Washington, DC.
  10. ^ "About: Republican Main Street Parrtnership". Washington, DC: Republican Main Street Partnership. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Vargo, Shawn (October 11, 2017). "Conversation with 'Amo' continues". The Leader. Corning, NY.
  12. ^ McCarthy, Robert J. (June 25, 1996). "Houghton Eager to Shed Political Party Labels". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, NY.
  13. ^ "Houghton Aide to Meet Residents". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, NY. August 23, 2000.
  14. ^ "Impeachment: The Mavericks; 10 in House Who Broke Party Ranks on the Vote". The New York Times. New York, NY. December 20, 1998.
  15. ^ "How They Voted in House on Repeal of Estate Tax". The New York Times. New York, NY. Associated Press. April 5, 2001.
  16. ^ "Roll Call Vote in House on Iraq Resolution". The New York Times. New York, NY. Associated Press. October 10, 2002.
  17. ^ "Candidate Details: Amo Houghton". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Machacek, John (April 7, 2004). "Rep. Amo Houghton Announces Retirement". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. p. 4A – via
  19. ^ "Houghton Candid About Pro-Choice Stance". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. July 30, 1992. p. 1B – via
  20. ^ "Rep. Kuhl Contact Info". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. January 5, 2005. p. 3C – via
  21. ^
  22. ^ Randolph, Nancy (June 2, 1950). "Ruth West Wed to Grandson of Ambassador". New York Daily News. New York, NY. p. 53 – via
  23. ^ "Cancer Unit Names Mrs. Houghton Jr". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. October 3, 1966. p. 4 – via
  24. ^ Louise, Pat (October 4, 1989). "Amo Votes Yes on 2nd Marriage". Star-Gazette. Elmira, NY. pp. 1–2 – via

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Stanley N. Lundine
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 34th congressional district

District 34 eliminated after the 1990 Census
Preceded by
Bill Paxon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st congressional district

District 31 eliminated after the 2000 Census
Preceded by
John J. LaFalce
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th congressional district

Succeeded by
Randy Kuhl