Oct. 18, 1940 - Oct. 1, 2022 Port Arthur, TX
Graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1958, Raymond Strother attended Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on a track scholarship. After two years, he was asked to leave the institution because of his political activities. He transferred to Louisiana State University, where he became editor of the Daily Reveille. While attending LSU, he worked as a night reporter and photographer for the Associated Press. In his 1965 Master's thesis, he predicted that media would dominate future political campaigns.
Using his instincts and political savvy, Strother became a leading political strategist and consultant working for Senators Lloyd Bentsen, Russell Long, John Stennis, Dennis Deconcini, Gary Hart, Al Gore, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, and others.
Strother also worked in governors races for Bill Clinton, Mark White, and Buddy Roemer. He also won awards for his long-form documentaries about civil rights hero John Lewis and U.S. Treasurer Lloyd Bentsen.
Strother served as both president and chairman of the board of the American Association of Political Consultants, and in 1999 was a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. In 2002 Strother was given a national award created to recognize political professionals who have an "exemplary record of achievement in the field and contributions to students and academic institutions."
Strother has published a novel, "Cottonwood" as well as his autobiography, "Falling Up, How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting." Strother is a frequent commentator on network television and was an analyst in the 2000 Vice Presidential Debates for PBS. He has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, and scores of other publications. Campaigns and Elections magazine called him "the poet of Democracy."