October 31, 2016 Former Diplomat to Discuss His Book on "The Man Who Built Washington"

Alexander Robey Shepherd Was Washington’s Public Works Czar

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Alexander Robey Shepherd (1835-1902) was the District of Columbia’s powerful head of the D.C. Board of Public Works from 1871 until 1873 and D.C. governor in 1873 and 1874. Better known as Boss Shepherd, he was a self-made man who accrued his fortune in the plumbing and gas-fitting trade. His business inspired his fight to establish the city’s physical infrastructure at a time when opposition forces were calling for the nation’s capital to be moved to the Mississippi Valley, closer to the center of the country.

Boss Shepherd’s achievements included grading and paving of streets, installing a sewage system and the planting of thousands of trees. His methods were not without controversy, however, as demonstrated in this first comprehensive biography of Shepherd.

John Richardson, who did much of his research at the Library of Congress, will discuss and sign his book, “Alexander Robey Shepherd: The Man Who Built the Nation’s Capital” (Ohio University Press, 2016), on Thursday, Nov. 10, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Richardson divided a 45-year career between the nonprofit sector and the United States government, focusing on Palestinian issues and the Muslim world. A graduate of Williams College with a master’s degree from George Washington University, he was president of American Near East Refugee Aid and the Center for Middle East Policy. Later, as an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, he served in Pakistan, Jordan and Indonesia before retiring in 2005.

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PR 16-193
ISSN 0731-3527