Former Head of GPO Robert Houk Dies

Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:02pm

Former Government Printing Office head Robert Houk died Sunday at his home in Shelby, Ohio.

Houk, who served as public printer from 1990 to 1993, was 84 years old.

“On behalf of the GPO, I extend our sincere condolences to the family of Public Printer Houk,” current Public Printer Bill Boarman said in a statement. “Public Printer Houk helped guide GPO into the future while ensuring GPO’s support for Congress, federal agencies and the public we serve.”

Houk served as the 22nd public printer in the agency’s history. During his three years in office, he issued a strategic plan for the agency that acknowledged the need to embrace technological advances while fulfilling the mandate to do conventional public printing.

His legacy also includes his testimony before Congress in support of legislation to allow the GPO to have electronic dissemination authority, according to a statement from the GPO.

Before his appointment to the GPO, Houk served in the Army from 1945 to 1947 and from 1952 to 1954. He also served as chairman of the board of Printing Industries of America, and he was inducted into the Printing Hall of Fame at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1998.