Obit­u­ar­ies

The Washington Post Sunday - - METRO - BY EMMA BROWN browne@wash­post.com

Howard Pol­lock, 90, Alaska’s sec­ond con­gress­man, lost a hand in WWII but didn’t let it de­rail his ad­ven­tur­ous na­ture.

Howard Pol­lock’s right hand was blown off in a World War II grenade ac­ci­dent, but that didn’t stop him from hunt­ing an­te­lope left-handed or from fish­ing for mar­lin or from head­ing north to live in the farflung ter­ri­tory of Alaska, where he and his wife built a cabin on 80 wild acres south of An­chor­age.

Nor did his missing hand in­ter­fere with his po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions. Wear­ing a metal pros­the­sis and oc­ca­sion­ally in­tro­duc­ing him­self as Cap­tain Hook, Mr. Pol­lock served in Alaska’s ter­ri­to­rial and state leg­is­la­tures be­fore he was elected in 1966 as the fron­tier state’s sec­ond-ever con­gress­man.

Mr. Pol­lock, a Repub­li­can who fol­lowed his four-year House ser­vice with a long ca­reer in­Wash­ing­ton, in­clud­ing as pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion and founder of a scuba-div­ing club for mem­bers of Congress, died Jan. 9 in Coron­ado, Calif. He was 90 and had pneu­mo­nia.

“I’ve never felt crip­pled,” he told TheWash­ing­ton Post af­ter earn­ing a black belt in taek­wondo at 75.

“I’ve had to ac­com­mo­date to some things. I can’t walk on my hands any­more,” he said. “But oth­er­wise, I be­lieve in what Al Jol­son said: ‘You ain’t seen noth­ing yet.’ ”

Howard Wal­lace Pol­lock was born April 11, 1920, in Chicago. He grew up in New Or­leans, won a Mis­sis­sippi state boxing ti­tle in ju­nior col­lege and then went over­seas with the Navy dur­ing WorldWar II.

The grenade that took his right fore­arm ex­ploded dur­ing a train­ing ex­er­cise in the South Pa­cific on Easter Sun­day 1944. Af­ter a long con­va­les­cence, he and his first wife, Maryanne Pass­more Pol­lock, headed north in search of some­thing new.

They­drove­upthe re­cent­ly­completed Alaska High­way, a nar­row gravel rib­bon through Canada’s forests, and made a home in a place called Rab­bit Creek.

He first en­coun­tered pol­i­tics on a lark, his fam­ily said, when a friend dared him to run for mayor of An­chor­age.

Mr. Pol­lock lost that first race, but not by much, and within sev­eral years, he had won a seat in the ter­ri­to­rial leg­is­la­ture.

Jug­gling pol­i­tics and school— he earned a law de­gree from the Uni­ver­sity of Hous­ton and a mas­ter’s de­gree in in­dus­trial man­age­ment from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Technology — he joined a cadre of young Alaskans, in­clud­ing fu­ture Sen. Ted Stevens (R), who worked for state­hood in the 1950s.

Af­ter Alaska en­tered the union in 1959, Mr. Pol­lock was one of nine peo­ple — five Repub­li­cans and four Democrats— who­ran for gover­nor in 1962.

“Never have so many run so hard to gov­ern so few,” then-Gov. Her­schel C. Love­less (D-Iowa) said at the time.

Mr. Pol­lock lost the gu­ber­na­to­rial race in the pri­mary but served twice in the state leg­is­la­ture. In 1966, he beat Demo­cratic in­cum­bent Ralph Rivers in a race to be­come Alaska’s sole con­gress­man.

Af­ter two terms in­Wash­ing­ton, Mr. Pol­lock gave up his House seat to run a sec­ond time for gover­nor of Alaska. Af­ter he lost in the Repub­li­can pri­mary, he found a job in the Nixon ad­min­is­tra­tion as the deputy ad­min­is­tra­tor of a new agency, the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In that role, Mr. Pol­lock, helped guide fed­eral fish­eries pol­icy and started a con­gres­sional scuba-div­ing club to help ed­u­cate law­mak­ers about ocean con­ser­va­tion, he said.

He left fed­eral ser­vice in 1983 and served two years as pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion. After­ward, he worked as an in­ter­na­tional man­age­ment con­sul­tant, a lob­by­ist (his clients in­cluded anti-com­mu­nist rebels in An­gola) and a sa­fari book­ing agent.

An en­thu­si­as­tic big-game hunter, Mr. Pol­lock had a rep­u­ta­tion as a crack shot. He was par­tic­u­larly fond of hunt­ing wild tur­keys and had com­pleted a feat known among sports­men as the­World Slam: bag­ging all six types of wild tur­keys, from Florida’s Osce­ola sub­species to Mex­ico’s ocel­lated va­ri­ety.

He trav­eled around the world on sa­fari, and the walls of his home were adorned with tro­phies from his ef­forts: a Zim­bab­wean sable an­te­lope, an Amer­i­can bull elk, a 10-foot-8-inch mar­lin he caught near St. Thomas, U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands.

In his late 70s, he had killed ibex — wild goat — on a trip by yak through Pak­istan. In his 80s, he com­peted in Wy­oming’s an­nual One-Shot An­te­lope Hunt and brought down a pronghorn with a sin­gle bul­let.

For years, Mr. Pol­lock rose at 5:15 each morn­ing to train in the Korean mar­tial art taek­wondo, re­mov­ing his pros­thetic arm be­fore prac­tic­ing so as not to star­tle op­po­nents. In 1995, he re­ceived his black belt be­fore a crowd of 1,500 at a down­town ho­tel in the District.

As part of the cer­e­mony, he broke a wooden board with his foot.

He had be­gun to slow only in re­cent years, his fam­ily said. “One thing that de­fined him, that was very spe­cial to all of us, is the grace he dis­played as he started los­ing the abil­ity to do the things he had al­ways done,” his son, Randy Pol­lock, said.

Mr. Pol­lock’s two mar­riages ended in divorce.

In ad­di­tion to his son Randy of Bain­bridge Is­land, Wash., sur­vivors in­clude four other chil­dren from his first mar­riage, Ron Pol­lock and Rick Pol­lock, both of An­chor­age, Patty Ray­mond of Bain­bridge Is­land and Pamela Pol­lock of Bothel, Wash.; nine grand­chil­dren; two great-grand­chil­dren; and his com­pan­ion of 35 years, Ma­rina Good enoughof Coron­ado.

Un­til mov­ing to theWest Coast about five years ago, Mr. Pol­lock had lived in Ar­ling­ton County for decades. But he con­sid­ered Alaska home and was fond of oc­to­pus hunt­ing near the spruce-framed vil­lage of Hal­ibut Cove.

DAYNA SMITH/THE WASHINGTON POST

Howard Pol­lack, a for­mer con­gress­man from Alaska, right, he earned a black belt in taek­wondo at 75.

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