Harry Elmer Fitzwater – Captain, United States Navy Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (CIA)

Harry Elmer Fitzwater, 85, a retired Navy Captain and former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, died of cancer November 11, 2004, at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Catptain Fitzwater, a longtime Fairfax County, Virginia, resident, had been living most recently in Bonita Springs, Florida, and Wilmington.

Captain Fitzwater was born in Garden City, Missouri, and grew up on a farm. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941, serving for two years. He then joined the Navy, serving as an aviator and officer. He flew various types of aircraft during World War II, the Korean War and the Cuban missile crisis. From 1963 until his retirement in 1966, he worked at the Pentagon in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During his military career, he received bachelor of science degrees in political science and engineering from the University of Colorado in 1954 and a master of science degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1964. He also attended the Naval War College.

After retiring from the Navy, he worked briefly at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, then joined the CIA, serving in management positions within the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Administration. From 1981 through 1986, he served as the deputy director of administration under Director William J. Casey.

From 1984 through 1987, he had a leadership role in the construction of the agency's headquarters building at Langley. He also was instrumental in bringing affordable child-care services to CIA employees by heading the construction of a child-care facility at CIA headquarters.

When he retired from the CIA in 1986, he founded several companies, including Super Tots, a child-care company that was sold to Ogden Allied in 1989. In 1990, he helped found a security and investigative services firm, as well as several companies providing goods and services during the Gulf War to aid in the rebuilding of Kuwait. In late 1990, he founded FitzOil USA Inc., a joint venture company involved in oil exploration and pipeline construction in China.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Betty Fitzwater of Bonita Springs; a daughter, Lynda Harris of Clifton; a sister; two granddaughters; and a great-granddaughter.


Formerly of Clifton, Virginia, on Thursday, November 11, 2004 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Wilmington, North Carolina.

Beloved husband of Betty Jane Fitzwater; loving father of Lynda Harris; brother of Betty Plumley; grandfather of Lise and Melissa and great-grandfather of Lauren.

Funeral services will be held at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 at 9 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1406 Physicians Dr., Wilmington, North Carolina 28401.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 06/04/1939 – 07/31/1966
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 06/04/1919
  • DATE OF DEATH: 11/11/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 12/22/2004

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