Service for longtime state executive Sept. 28
September 22, 2012
A memorial service is scheduled Sept. 28 in Las Vegas for Richard
Ham, a longtime state executive, liberal Democratic activist and advocate for civil rights, services to prevent substance abuse and programs to help the aging and disabled.
The celebration of life for Ham, who died June 15 at age 89, will be held at the Nevada State Museum located at 333 S. Valley View Blvd. in Las Vegas. Memorial contributions
can be made to Haitian Children’s Fund.
Ham, an Arkansas native who moved with his family to Southern Nevada in 1932, began his government career in the late 1950s as chief of staff for then-Gov. Grant Sawyer.
He held numerous executive positions over the years, including head of the state Employment Security Department, chief of the state Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and chief of planning, evaluation and program development for the state Human Resources Department.
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Ham also served on the Governor’s Committee on Aging and was president of the Nevada Society for Crippled Children, and after nearly four decades of government service was a legislative lobbyist in 2001 for various health and human services.
Besides his service as a state executive, Ham made an unsuccessful Democratic primary bid in 1968 to oust Nevada Rep. Walter Baring, a Democrat who started out as a traditional party liberal but turned conservative after several U.S. House terms.