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Albert Bryan, federal judge who presided over ‘rocket docket,’ dies at 92

WASHINGTON — Albert Bryan, a federal judge who served for two decades on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, ruling on matters including discrimination in public schools as well as delivering a 15-year prison sentence to perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, died Aug. 27 in Alexandria, Va. He was 92.

The cause was pneumonia, said his daughter Vickers Bryan.

Mr. Bryan was named to the federal court in 1971 by President Nixon and served as chief judge from 1985 to 1991, when he took senior status.

During his years on the bench, Mr. Bryan reported for work at the federal courthouse in Alexandria that, in the latter part of his career, bore the name of his father. Albert V. Bryan Sr., a federal district and later appeals court judge known for decisions that helped end racial segregation in Virginia public schools in the 1950s and 1960s, died in 1984.


Among Mr. Bryan’s most high-profile cases was the trial of LaRouche, a conspiracy theorist who ran for president eight times before his death in February. He was convicted in 1988 on charges related to a plot in which prosecutors alleged he and associates concealed his personal income from the IRS and collected $30 million in loans from supporters whom he did not plan to repay.

Mr. Bryan sentenced LaRouche in 1989 to 15 years in prison, but he was released in 1994.

Albert Vickers Bryan Jr. was born Nov. 8, 1926, in Alexandria, Va. He attended the Virginia Military Institute before serving in the Marine Corps Reserve and then graduating from the University of Virginia’s law school in 1950.