Edward Coblentz Raleigh – Colonel, United States Army

Edward C. Raleigh, 89, a retired Army Colonel who worked in public affairs, died of complications after intestinal surgery January 26, 2007, at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia.


Considered “an early champion of maximum disclosure and minimum delay,” according to his 2002 induction in the U.S. Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame, Colonel Raleigh put that philosophy to the test in 1968 when he found himself in the middle of a public relations crisis.

Some 6,400 sheep near the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah were found dead, poisoned by a deadly nerve agent called VX, which had been stockpiled at the base. Colonel Raleigh, serving at the Army Materiel Command, insisted on a quick response to the public outrage, which became a national controversy over how the Army stored and secured toxic materials. According to the Hall of Fame, “What could have been a disastrous incident critical of the Army actually resulted in the media and public’s understanding of what actually occurred. This event later became a ‘case study’ on how to successfully handle high profile incidents.”

Colonel Raleigh was born in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. He enlisted in the state’s National Guard in 1940. After graduating from Officer Candidate School, he served in anti-aircraft artillery units with the 1st Infantry Division in Italy and France.

After World War II, he served in the Army Reserve and was recalled to active duty, serving in Japan until 1955. Colonel Raleigh completed the Army Information School and was ordered to the Pentagon to serve as the deputy chief for the Army’s Community Relations Section. He also served in France, Korea and Turkey. He received a master’s degree in 1965 from the University of Wisconsin.

Colonel Raleigh retired in 1971 and became publication director of the National Business Forms Association in Alexandria. He retired a second time in 1999.

He was a past president of the Alexandria Rotary Club and a member of Pohick Episcopal Church. His wife of 58 years, Hyacintha Raleigh, died in 2000.

He had no immediate survivors.

Colonel, USA (Ret.) Age 89

On Friday, January 26, 2007, of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Hyacintha H. Raleigh. He is survived by his nephews Peter L. Cosovich and Alan Cosovich of San Francisco, California, Jon Cosovich of Anne Arbor, Michigan, Douglas Hendel of Issaquah, Washington, Robert Leslie of Fircrest, Washington and James Leslie; nieces Nancy Hendel of Northport, New York and Linda Simkus of Goldendale, Washington.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 15 at the Fairfax of Belvoir Woods Healthcare Center, 9160 Belvoir Woods Parkway, Fort Belvoir. Interment will follow at 2 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery with Military Honors. Those attending the interment are asked to arrive at the Administration Building by 1:30 p.m. Contributions can be made in his name to the Alexandria Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 20271, Alexandria, VA 22320.

DATE OF BIRTH: 01/30/1912
DATE OF DEATH: 07/20/2000

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