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Lunsford Richardson Preyer (January 11, 1919 – April 3, 2001) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and later a United States Representative from North Carolina.

L. Richardson Preyer
L. Richardson Preyer.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byHorace R. Kornegay
Succeeded byWalter E. Johnston III
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
In office
October 7, 1961 – October 9, 1963
Appointed byJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded bySeat established by 75 Stat. 80
Succeeded byEugene Andrew Gordon
Personal details
Lunsford Richardson Preyer

(1919-01-11)January 11, 1919
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedApril 3, 2001(2001-04-03) (aged 82)
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.
Resting placeGreen Hill Cemetery
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationPrinceton University (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.B.)

Education and careerEdit

Born in Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, Preyer graduated from Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia. He received an Artium Baccalaureus degree with a major in English from Princeton University in 1941. At Princeton he was on the 150 lb. football team and the golf team and was vice-president of Princeton Tower Club.[1] He received a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1949. He was in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1946, serving as gunnery officer and executive officer on destroyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific.[1] He received a Bronze Star for action at Okinawa.[1] He was in private practice of law in New York City, New York from 1949 to 1950. He worked for Vick Chemical Company in 1950 (founded by his grandfather).[1] He was in private practice of law in Greensboro from 1951 to 1956. He was a City Judge from 1953 to 1954. He was a Judge of the North Carolina Superior Court from 1956 to 1961.[2][3]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Preyer received a recess appointment from President John F. Kennedy on October 7, 1961, to the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, to a new seat created by 75 Stat. 80. He was nominated to the same seat by President Kennedy on January 15, 1962. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 7, 1962, and received his commission on February 17, 1962. His service was terminated on October 9, 1963, due to his resignation.[3]

Unsuccessful run for governor and return to private serviceEdit

Preyer was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of North Carolina in 1964. He was Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of North Carolina National Bank (now Bank of America) from 1965 to 1968.[2][3]

Congressional serviceEdit

Preyer was elected as a Democratic United States Representative from North Carolina to the 91st United States Congress and to the five succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1969, to January 3, 1981. He was Chairman of the House Ethics Committee in the 95th Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the 97th Congress in 1980.[2]

Post congressional service and deathEdit

In 1988, Preyer was elected to the Common Cause National Governing Board.[1] Preyer resided in Greensboro until his death of cancer on April 3, 2001, in that city. He is interred in Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro.[2][3][4]


The L. Richardson Preyer Federal Building in Greensboro is named in Preyer's honor.[1] Preyer and his wife, Emily, both received the North Carolina Award for Public Service.[1]

Family and relationsEdit

Preyer was the grandson of inventor Lunsford Richardson. His parents were William Yost Preyer (June 4, 1888 Ohio – 1970) and Mary Norris Richardson (1889 – 1969) daughter of Lunsford Richardson (1854 – 1919) and Mary Lynn Smith (1858 – 1940). He was married to Emily Irving Harris (1919 – 1999).[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "PAW October 10, 2001: Memorials".
  2. ^ a b c d "Lunsford Richardson Preyer". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ a b c d Lunsford Richardson Preyer at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Prestridge to Pribyson".
  5. ^ Lunsford Richardson Preyer at Find a Grave