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Robert B. Harrison III, lawyer

Robert B. Harrison III, a lawyer and former chairman of the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals, died Sunday of cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer, at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The longtime Roland Park resident was 76.

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The son of Robert B. Harrison Jr., a hotel executive, and Chesley Requardt Harrison, education director of the Maryland chapter of the American Cancer Society, Robert Barker Harrison III was born and raised in Baltimore.

He was a 1958 graduate of the Gilman School, where he played varsity football and lacrosse and was a member of the wrestling team.

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Mr. Harrison attended West Point from 1958 to 1959, and earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1964 from the John Hopkins University, where he was ROTC cadet commander. He also played lacrosse at Hopkins, and played from 1961 to 1971 with the Baltimore Rugby Club.

After earning his degree in 1967 from the University of Maryland School of Law, he was accepted into the Judge Advocate Corps Excess Leave Program and received a commission with the Army Corps of Engineers.

In 1968, Mr. Harrison served with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, and from 1969 to 1971, he was an assistant staff judge advocate in the Defense Appellate Division of the Army Judiciary in Washington.

His decorations included two Bronze Stars and two Army Commendation medals.

Discharged in 1971, he returned to Baltimore and joined the law firm of Buckmaster, White, Mindel and Clarke. In 1975, he was named an assistant attorney general serving in the state Department of Transportation.

He later was counsel to the Motor Vehicle Administration and counsel to the Maryland Port Administration. In 1979, he was appointed counsel to the state Department of Transportation.

Mr. Harrison was appointed by Gov. Harry R. Hughes to the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals in 1985 as board chairman, and subsequently served in that position under Govs. William Donald Schaefer and Parris N. Glendening.

He retired from the board in 2006.

Mr. Harrison was a student of military history and enjoyed collecting and painting toy soldiers.

While serving as president of the Roland Park Civic League from 1976 to 1977, he was successful in getting the Roland Park Shopping Center designated as a historic property by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

He was a member of the Elkridge Club, the Bachelors Cotillon, the Wednesday Club and the Society of the War of 1812.

Plans for a memorial service to be held in the spring are incomplete.

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He is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Katharine Daingerfield Santos, an internist and infectious disease physician; a son, R. Barker Harrison IV of Homeland; a brother, William Requardt Harrison of West Hartford, Conn.; and two grandchildren. His daughter, Anne Fenton Harrison, died in 2007.

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