Paul Dembling, Noted Space Lawyer, Passes Away

Paul Dembling, Noted Space Lawyer, Passes Away

Paul Dembling, a highly respected lawyer renowned for his role in helping to craft the 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA Act), passed away on May 16 according to NASA.

Mr. Dembling was the general counsel to NASA’s predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and along with other experts, including Eilene Galloway at Congress’s Legislative Reference Service (now the Congressional Research Service), drafted the law that created NASA. He served in several capacities at NASA — as general counsel, head of Legislative Affairs, and Deputy Associate Administrator.

He retired from NASA in 1969. Later he was the general counsel of the General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) and after that was in private practice.

He recounted his role in drafting the NASA Act in an interview for NASA’s 50th anniversary magazine as well as in a 2001 oral interview for his alma mater, George Washington University (GWU). At that time he donated his professional papers to GWU’s law library.

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