Russell E. Train ’48 LL.B. was an ardent environmentalist who dedicated his career to conservation. He passed away on September 17, 2012, at the age of 92.
Train was born in 1920 in Jamestown, R.I., and was raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Princeton University in 1941 and then entered the Army as an officer during World War II. Upon being discharged in 1946, Train enrolled in Columbia Law School.
Following graduation, Train returned to Washington, D.C., to serve as counsel for the Congressional Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation, and he was appointed judge of the U.S. Tax Court in 1957. During this time, Train began acting on a passion for conservation. He founded the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation in 1961 and resigned from the tax court in 1965 to become president of the Conservation Foundation.
Train built a reputation as a knowledgeable and trusted environmental adviser, and, in 1970, he was appointed undersecretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he led the Alaska Pipeline Intergovernmental Task Force. In that same year, Train encouraged President Richard Nixon to create the Environmental Protection Agency and helped secure passage of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act. He worked to ensure passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, and, a year later, was named the administrator for the EPA. Train left the post in 1977 to become president of the World Wildlife Fund and was named chairman emeritus of that organization in 1994.
Train is survived by his wife, Aileen; his daughters, Nancy, Emily, and Errol; his son, Charles; and 12 grandchildren.