Amherst Magazine
Howard Kamber Shapar '45

Howard Shapar, 85, died on March 15, 2009, at his home in Chevy Chase, Md., following a heart attack. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Henriette A.E. Gerrevinck Shapar, and two children by his first marriage.

Howard entered Amherst from the Boston Latin School and after two years was called to wartime duty in the U.S. Army. He returned to Amherst to complete his degree and emerged as Class valedictorian. In the immediate post-war period, he served in the U.S. Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps in war-torn Germany. He then enrolled in Yale Law School with particular interest in atomic law. With these impressive credentials, it was inevitable that Howard would begin his career with brilliance and promise.

He went to work for the Atomic Energy Commission in Los Alamos, N.M., and then returned to Washington as the commission’s assistant general counsel for licensing. While in Washington, he authorized the legislation that split the AEC into the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Howard became the executive legal director for the NRC and was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on nuclear law.

He received the Distinguished Service Award from the NRC and was a founder and past president of the International Nuclear Law Association. Finally, he was named director-general and chief executive of the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency.

The Class extends sincere condolences to Howard’s wife and family.                                                                   

—Daniel Leavitt ’45

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