-- E. Wallace Wally Lawrence III, founder of the Russian Travel
Bureau and cofounder of the American Tourism Society, died at his
home here on Jan. 25 after a long struggle with Parkinsons disease.
He was 76.
A native of
Westchester, N.Y., Lawrence attended George Washington University
in Washington and served in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War.
When he returned to the U.S., he went to work for the State
A believer that
travel to the Soviet Union made tourists better Americans, Lawrence
founded Russian Adventure Tours in 1970, an inbound operator to the
In the mid-1970s,
Lawrence changed the companys name to the Russian Travel Bureau
because of the negative connotations of the word adventure to
As part of his
dedication to promoting travel to the Soviet Union, Lawrence was an
active participant in the affairs of the U.S. Trade and Economic
Council for many years.
He also served as
president of the New York chapter of Skal in the 1970s.
In 1989 Lawrence
cofounded the American Soviet Tourism Society with General Tours
Chairman Alex Harris, a competitor in business but an ally in the
cause of promoting travel to the Soviet Union.
later expanded its mission and was renamed the American Tourism
He was a fierce
competitor, said Harris, but he and I became good drinking
companions and friends, even though we were very
He was a very good
companion. I valued his spirit and dedication, the personal
friendship we developed and the mutual respect we had for each
other. Wally will be missed.
Lawrence will be
buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial is planned for
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to David Cogswell