Benjamin H. Cushing Jr. ’38

Benjamin H. Cushing Jr. ’38 died of congestive heart failure on May 16, 2012, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

He was born on April 13, 1917, in Portland, and graduated from Portland High School. He attended Bowdoin on a State of Maine Scholarship, was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and graduated magna cum laude, a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He won the Goodwin French Prize and a Brown Memorial Prize as a freshman and a Kling Scholarship as an upperclassman. He earned a bachelor’s degree in library service from Columbia University in 1939 and worked as a librarian at Purdue University and the New York Public Library through 1943. He served to captain in the Army during World War II, working in counterintelligence for the Office of Strategic Services. From 1947 to 1971, he worked for the CIA, with assignments in Berlin, Vienna, the Congo, Bonn, and Virginia. He was awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit upon his retirement in 1971. He then earned a master’s degree in French at American University in 1972 and taught French there and at Northern Virginia Community College. He also worked as a realtor. In 2000, he and his wife won a gold medal in mixed doubles tennis at the Maryland Senior Olympics. On his 74th birthday, he rode his bike 100 miles, and walked 26 miles two months later. He is survived by Virginia Rogers Cushing, his wife of 65 years; three daughters, Katherine, Jacqueline, and Brenda; and two sons, Roger and Matthew.

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