Amo Houghton

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Person.png Amo Houghton   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, millionaire)
Amo Houghton 108th Congress.jpg
Corning, New York
Died4 March 2020 (Age 93)
Alma materHarvard University
SpousePriscilla Dewey Houghton
Member ofBrookings Institution
US multi-millionaire politician. Attended the 1972 Bilderberg as CEO of family company Corning, on the verge of becoming world's leading manufacturer of optical fiber.

Amory "Amo" Houghton Jr. is a multi-millionaire US politician. He attended the Bilderberg in 1972.[1] as CEO of family company Corning, which was on the verge of becoming world's leading manufacturer of optical fiber. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives and was a member of one of upstate New York's most prominent business and political families, the Houghtons.

Early life

The son of Amory Houghton and Laura DeKay Richardson, and the grandson of Alanson B. Houghton, Amory Houghton Jr. was born in Corning, New York.[2][3] He attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and was a member of the class of 1945.[4] Houghton later was a member of the school's board of trustees.[4]

Military service

In 1944, Houghton enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for World War II.[5] Assigned to USS Macon (CA-132) and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, he took part with his unit in activities associated with the Battle of the Caribbean.[5] Houghton attained the rank of private first class, and was discharged in 1946.[5]

Business career

He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1950 and received his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard in 1952.[6]

Houghton spent his business career with his family's company, Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), a company founded in 1851 by his great-great-grandfather, Amory Houghton (1812-1882).[6] He joined the company in 1951, and worked as an accountant, process engineer, manufacturing foreman, and sales manager.[7] He joined the board of directors in 1955, became a vice president in 1957, and was appointed president in 1961.[6][7] From 1964 to 1983, Houghton was Corning's chairman and chief executive officer.[6]

In the fall of 1970, the company announced that it had demonstrated an optical fiber with a low optical attenuation of 17 dB per kilometer by doping silica glass with titanium. A few years later they produced a fiber with only 4 dB/km, using germanium oxide as the core dopant. Such low attenuations made fiber optics practical for telecommunications and networking. Corning became the world's leading manufacturer of optical fiber.

In addition to Corning Glass, his other business interests included membership on the board of directors of IBM, First National City Bank (later Citigroup), Procter & Gamble, Genentech, and B. F. Goodrich.[3][8]

U.S. Congress

In 1986, Houghton was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican.[9] Houghton reportedly was among the richest members of the House, with a wealth of $475 million.[10]

Voting record

Houghton had a moderate voting record and was founder of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which he formed to encourage a more moderate stance to public issues.[11] He was frequently called upon to serve as a broker between Democratic and Republican members on critical issues since he was a champion for improving civility between political parties.[12] While he voted with Republicans on most issues relating to the budget, he also voted with the Democratic Party on issues of environmental protection, civil rights and funding for the arts and education.[13]

Committee memberships

He served on the International Relations and Ways and Means Committees.[14]


He was one of four Republicans to vote against all the impeachment articles against President Clinton in 1998.[15]

In 2001, Houghton was one of only three Republicans to vote against permanently repealing the estate tax.[16]

On October 10, 2002, he was among the six House Republicans who voted against the resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq.[17]


Throughout his career Houghton was one of Upstate New York's most well known and respected members of Congress; he was usually re-elected with more than 65 percent of the vote.[18] He clashed occasionally with the increasingly Southern, socially conservative orientation of the party.[19] For example, Houghton was one of the most vocal pro-choice Republicans in Congress.[20]

Later life and death

On April 7, 2004, Houghton announced his intention not to seek a tenth term in Congress.[19] On January 3, 2005, Houghton's term expired and he was succeeded by John R. "Randy" Kuhl.[21] He was a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[22] In 2016[23] and 2018, he spoke out against the presidency of Donald Trump and stated that he would support efforts to remove him from office.[24]

Corning Inc. announced on March 5, 2020 that Houghton had died the previous day.[25][26]


In 1950, Houghton married Ruth Frances West of Waccabuc, New York.[27] Their children include Amory, Robert, Sarah, and Quincy.[28] After their 1988 divorce, in 1989 Houghton married Priscilla B. Dewey (1924–2012).[29]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/197221 April 197223 April 1972Belgium
Hotel La Reserve
The 21st Bilderberg, 102 guests. It spawned the Trilateral Commission.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. File:Bilderberg-Conference-Report-1972.pdf
  3. a b Institute for Research in Biography (1965). Who's who in Commerce and Industry. 14. Chicago, IL: Marquis Who's Who. p. 627.
  4. a b
  5. a b c
  6. a b c d Ingham, John N. (1983). Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. H–M. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 627.
  7. a b
  13. {ttps://
  14. |work=The Buffalo News
  19. a b
  21. |work=Star-Gazette