Walter H. Gahagan
LEBANON, N.H. -- Walter Hamer Gahagan, whose dredging company helped in the creation of the launching pad for the Apollo space missions and in the construction of Kennedy and Newark international airports, died Jan. 4 at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., near his summer home in Fairlee, Vt.
The 82-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident -- who had been hospitalized since Dec. 13 -- died of pneumonia and other complications from lymphoma, said his daughter, Lillian Gay Gahagan.
He was chairman of Gahagan Dredging Corp., which began in New York City and then moved to Tampa, Fla., from 1943 to 1969.
In 1932, the year he graduated from Princeton University, he competed in the discus and exhibition football events at the Olympics in Los Angeles.
He received a law degree from Columbia University three years later and, from 1939 to 1941, served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
His sister, Helen Gahagan Douglas, was the actress and former congresswoman who in 1950 lost a bid for a Senate seat in California to Richard M. Nixon. She died in 1980.
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