MNN Galleries

10 Republicans from another era who helped the environment

By: Ken Edelstein on May 3, 2010, 12:40 p.m.
Russell Train

Photo: The Heinz Awards

10 of 12

Russell Train

The second administrator of Nixon’s Environmental Protection Agency, Train was in many ways its conceptual father. To Republicans in the 1960s, he was Mr. Environment.

The Princeton- and Columbia-trained attorney established his bona fides in the Republican establishment in the 1950s as a congressional aide and Treasury Department lawyer. All the while, he was a serious shaper of the nascent conservation movement. In 1961, he founded the African Wildlife Foundation, which he chaired until 1969. He helped found, and later was named chairman emeritus of, the World Wildlife Fund. He helped to establish the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania, and later served as president of The Conservation Foundation.

When Nixon was elected in 1968, Train led the environment track of the president-elect’s transition team. Then, he was appointed to a series of high environmentally related posts, before finally being named EPA administrator in 1973, where he helped to establish the credibility of the agency. Train’s influence in Republican policy circles was such that the EPA would not look the way it does today without his influence. Train is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the prestigious Heinz Award, which cited him as “truly outstanding example of how a single life can make a difference in the world.”