Otis G. Pike ’48

January 20, 2014

Spring 2014

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Otis G. Pike ’48 was a nine-term U.S. congressman from Long Island. He passed away on January 20, 2014, at the age of 92.

Pike was born in Riverhead, N.Y. He served as a fighter pilot during World War II before earning his J.D. from Columbia Law School. After making his initial bid for the House of Representatives in 1958, Pike was elected as a Democrat in 1960. He went on to represent New York’s predominantly Republican 1st congressional district until 1979.

As a congressman, Pike drew public attention to the inflated prices the Pentagon was paying for hardware. His efforts pushed the Defense Department to reform its purchasing policies. As chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, he also led the first significant House investigation into CIA abuses, which, at the time, ranged from illegal spying on citizens to assassination attempts.

Pike was instrumental in passing legislation that created New York’s Fire Island National Seashore in 1964. In 1980, Congress designated 1,380 acres of that area the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness.

Pike was predeceased by his first wife, Doris Orth, and his son Robert. He is survived by his second wife, Barbe Bonjour Pike; his son Douglas; and two grandchildren.

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