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J. Glenn Beall Jr.; politician served in US House, Senate

WASHINGTON -- J. Glenn Beall Jr., a retired insurance executive and member of a prominent political family who served his native Maryland in the state House of Delegates, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, died Friday at his home in Frostburg, Md. He was 78. He had carcinoid cancer, which had been diagnosed in 1998.

In business, public service, and politics, Mr. Beall largely followed in the footsteps of his father, J. Glenn Beall, a moderate Republican from Western Maryland who served in the US House from 1942 to 1952 and the US Senate from 1952 to 1964.

During some of his father's early campaign swings, Mr. Beall spent hours on the back roads of Montgomery, Washington, and Garrett counties driving his father in the family's sedan to meet with potential voters.

''Public service -- whether it's elected, community, or civil -- service above self was the topic of every discussion in the family," said George Beall, a brother of J. Glenn Beall Jr. and one of three sons in the family.

A political moderate and natural orator who appeared studious and courtly, Senator J. Glenn Beall Jr. campaigned as a Republican when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1962. At the time, equal accommodation legislation was a divisive issue; Mr. Beall favored integration of public facilities and a procivil rights agenda.

He served as the minority floor leader in the House of Delegates until 1969, when he defeated Democratic challenger Goodloe Byron for the open seat of Maryland's Sixth District of the US House of Representatives.

In 1970, at the urging of then-President Richard Nixon, Mr. Beall announced that he would campaign for the US Senate in Maryland, running against Joseph Tydings, who six years earlier defeated Mr. Beall's father for the same Senate seat.

Although Tydings won the majority of votes in the Democratic strongholds of Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George's counties, it wasn't enough to offset the number of votes cast for Mr. Beall in the other parts of the state.

Scoring a stunning upset, Mr. Beall won the election and went on to serve six years in the Senate, until 1977, when he lost to Democrat Paul Sarbanes.

During his years in the Senate, Mr. Beall identified with the moderate wing of the Republican Party and became political allies with such figures as Senator Bob Dole, Republican of Kansas.

In 1972, he introduced a manpower shortage program to encourage physicians to work in underserved areas of the country. He also shepherded historic tax credit legislation to promote the preservation of historic buildings and helped secure federal and state funding used to build Interstate 68, connecting the western regions of the state to the more populated eastern regions.

After leaving Congress, Mr. Beall returned to his father's insurance business in Frostburg. Over the years, Mr. Beall had built the firm into one of the largest privately owned insurance agencies in the country.

John Glenn Beall Jr. was born in Cumberland, Md., and was a member of the 1945 graduating class of the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

He served as a Navy seaman at the end of the World War II. Later, he completed officer training, received a commission as an ensign, and rose to commander in the Naval Reserve.

Mr. Beall graduated from Yale University with a degree in economics in 1950. On campus, he joined the Young Republicans and ran a snack bar catering to returning US servicemen.

In addition to his brother, he leaves his wife of 46 years, Nancy Lee Smith of Frostburg; a daughter, Victoria Lee Muth of North Bethesda; and another brother, Richard Olin Beall of Stevenson, Md.

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