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Subject: Edward Burling Jr., Senior Partner at a Top Law Firm

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Date Posted: December 04, 2002 3:01:15 EDT

Edward Burling Jr., a retired senior partner of one of the largest law firms in Washington and an active Republican in his party's moderate wing, died on Nov. 19 at his home in Washington. He was 94.

Mr. Burling was the son of Edward Burnham Burling, who with J. Harry Covington in 1919 founded the law firm of Covington & Burling, for years the largest and one of the most powerful law firms in Washington. As others have challenged it in size, Covington has expanded to become a worldwide firm.

In 1964, Mr. Burling, who had been a strong supporter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was chairman of a group of Republicans who did not support the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater but worked to raise money for other Republican candidates. They called themselves Forward Looking Republicans.

In 1970, Mr. Burling helped form a group to lobby Congress to pass a bill requiring the United States to withdraw troops from Vietnam. In 1972, he sponsored the first black for membership in the Metropolitan Club, of which he was a former president. The member was John T. Walker, suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Edward Burling Jr. was born in Chicago on Feb. 5, 1908. His wife, Frida Frazer Winslow, said he was not given a middle name, but was called junior to avoid confusion with his father.

He graduated from Milton Academy in 1925, Yale University in 1929 and Harvard Law School in 1932. He then volunteered to work for the presidential administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Thomas G. Corcoran, a presidential aide and later a powerful Washington lawyer, assigned him to work for the legal staff of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a New Deal agency. He next worked on the staff of the Treasury Department.

In 1935, he joined the law firm that his father had founded with Mr. Covington, and, except for his war service, in the Army Air Force in World War II, stayed there until his retirement at 65.

Two of his principal clients were the metal-cutting tool industry and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He acted as financial adviser to corporate clients and represented their interests before regulatory agencies, particularly the Federal Power Commission, now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Burling was known for extensive philanthropy, and among the recipients were child adoption agencies in Washington.

His marriages to Carnelia Perin and Ella Poe Cotton ended in divorce.

In addition to his wife of 43 years, Mr. Burling is survived by three daughters, Anne Burling of Cambridge, Mass., Lucinda Emmet of San Francisco and Leesburg, Va., and Belinda Winslow of Santiago, Chile, and Washington; two sons, Walter Thacher Winslow of Paris and Bethesda, Md., and David Winslow Burling of Santa Fe; 14 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

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