Former TVA board chairman John Waters dies age 88

John B. Waters, who served as chairman of both the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority,   has died at the age of 88, reports the News Sentinel.

Waters was a partner in the law firm of Hailey, Waters, Sykes & Sharp in Sevierville from 1961 until 1984, when President Ronald Reagan nominated him to serve on the TVA board of directors. He also seved as federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission from 1969 to 1971 under President Richard Nixon’s nomination.

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush named Waters chairman of the TVA board. During his tenure, Waters was actively involved in TVA’s nuclear power operations. He was a member of the board of directors of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, a member of the American Nuclear Society, and was elected to the governing board of the World Association of Nuclear Operations.

“He was Mister Republican in his day,” said former Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe, who appointed Waters to serve on the Knoxville Airport Authority. “He was a very close friend of Howard Baker.” 

Waters was Howard Baker Jr.’s law school roommate and the chairman of his 1964 Senate campaign. 

…Information regarding a funeral service and receiving of friends for Waters has not yet been released.

Statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander:

“Johnny Waters was on the ground floor of creating a statewide Republican Party. He was Senator Howard Baker’s law school roommate and statewide campaign chairman. He served with distinction on the TVA Board and as co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission. He was unselfish in his caring and support for others. Honey and I will miss his good humor and his enthusiasm for life.”

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