Richard H. Poff '45
The Honorable Richard H. Poff was a member of Congress, United States House of Representatives and a Senior Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court.
He was born, reared and educated in Montgomery County, Virginia. He entered Roanoke College in 1941, where he undertook a course preparatory for the study of law. Following service in World War II as a bomber pilot, he enrolled in the University of Virginia Law School, where he graduated in 1948. He then began the practice of law in Radford.
In 1952, at age 29, he was elected representative of the 6th District of Virginia to the 83rd Congress. He served for 20 years in the House, where he was the second-ranking Republican member of the powerful Judiciary Committee and first-ranking member of two subcommittees. He was chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Crime and was named vice-chairman of the Presidential Commission on Reform and Revision of Federal Criminal Statutes. He was elected as the only Southerner and the youngest man ever named secretary of the Republican Conference in the House.
He was later appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court in 1972 and served there until his retirement in 1988. The Richard H. Poff Federal Building in Roanoke is named for him.
Richard H. Poff received the Roanoke College Medal in 1967.