Larry A. Conrad


McKinney School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award (1986)
J.D. 1961


Larry Allyn Conrad, civic and political leader, was one of the most popular and influential figures in the state of Indiana in the 1960s and 1970s. He graduated from Ball State University in 1957 and received an LL.B from Indiana University- Indianapolis School of Law in 1961. His political career began in 1962, when he successfully managed Birch Bayh's campaign for the United States Senate. Bayh subsequently hired Conrad first as his legislative assistant and later as Chief Counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. Conrad is considered the chief architect of the 25th Amendment.

In 1969, Conrad moved back to Indiana, and campaigned successfully for the office of Secretary of State, a position he held from 1970 to 1978. Conrad campaigned twice, unsuccessfully, in Indiana's gubernatorial race. In 1972, he lost the Democratic nomination in the primary to former governor Matt Welsh. In 1976, he won the nomination but lost the race to Republican incumbent Otis "Doc" Bowen. Although he lost the gubernatorial election, Conrad was nevertheless a major force in Indiana politics for two decades. He was a key force in reforming Indiana's Democratic Party, despite vicious personal and political attacks from his opponents. After leaving public office in 1978, he became one of the leading figures in the movement to rebuild and revitalize Indianapolis.

In 1979 Conrad entered private practice with Raymond Hafsten, specializing in governmental affairs. In 1983 he became Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for Melvin Simon and Associates, Indianapolis based shopping center developers. Conrad promoted Indianapolis tirelessly. He planned the opening ceremonies for the National Sports Festival in 1982, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tenth Pan American Games in 1987. In addition, he was involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic endeavors. Conrad left the Simons in 1989 to form a political consulting firm, The Conrad Group. He died in Lyon, France, the following year.