Robert Strauss, a Texas lawyer who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and held White House posts under presidents of both parties, died Wednesday at the age 95.
Strauss, who was appointed as DNC chairman after Sen. George McGovern's landslide defeat in 1972, helped reunify the party in advance of Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976.
He later became an adviser to Carter as a special trade representative, anti-inflation czar and negotiator in Middle East peace talks. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed him as U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.
"Strauss later went on to serve presidents from both parties with distinction domestically and abroad. He was a proud Texan and legendary Democrat who always put his country ahead of all else," said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the current DNC head.
After the 1992 presidential election, Strauss returned to the law firm he co-founded in 1945 in Dallas.
"Bob was one of the greatest leaders the Democratic Party ever had, yet presidents of both parties relied on his advice, his instincts, and his passion for public service — not to mention his well-honed sense of humor," President Obama said in a statement Wednesday.