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Walter B. Jones, 76, Dies; Republican Turned Against Iraq War

Category: Middle East,World

Mr. Bamford, the author, said in a telephone interview that it took courage for Mr. Jones “to change his position on one of the most momentous events in American history.”

“He admitted it privately and came out publicly and said he was wrong,” Mr. Bamford said. “He even tried to bring other congressmen into the fold by having me come up to the Capitol and speak to them. To me, that showed his sincerity.”

Acknowledging that he was wrong “was the genesis of the most important journey I’ve ever undertaken,” Mr. Jones later told Taylor Sisk, the co-author of a forthcoming book with Mr. Jones about the congressman’s regret over supporting the invasion.

Mr. Sisk said in a telephone interview that Mr. Jones had told him that coming out against the war had made him increasingly independent, quoting him as saying, “that’s been a liberating experience.”

Walter Beaman Jones Jr. was born on Feb. 10, 1943, in Farmville, N.C., where he grew up and lived most of his life. His mother, Doris (Long) Jones, was a homemaker. His father, Walter Sr., worked for an office-supply company and served in the State Legislature before being elected to Congress in 1966. A Democrat, the elder Mr. Jones represented eastern North Carolina until he retired in 1992.

Walter Jr. graduated in 1961 from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., and attended North Carolina State University from 1962 to 1965, when he transferred to Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, in Wilson, N.C. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1966, the same year he married Joe Anne Whitehurst; she and their daughter survive him.

Out of college, Mr. Jones joined the National Guard and became a wine salesman as well as a Catholic. In 1982 he was drafted by local Democrats to fill out the term of a state representative who had died in office. Mr. Jones served for 10 years, and when his father retired from Congress, he ran for his seat.

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