Donald E. Baruch, who served as the Pentagon’s principal liaison to the motion picture and television industry for more than four decades, died Feb. 20 of cancer at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 87.
Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, Baruch graduated from Williams College and later produced four Off Broadway plays.
Moving to Hollywood in 1937, Baruch worked for Hal Roach Studios and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as an assistant. He then returned to New York, where he joined Paramount as an assistant to a talent director.
During World War II, Baruch served as an officer in the Army/Air Force’s office of public information in Washington, D.C.
Following the war, he continued in that office as a consultant until becoming a federal employee in 1949.
When the Dept. of Defense was created in 1949, Baruch became the special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. He held that position until his retirement in 1989.
Some of the films with which Baruch was associated during his 40-year career included “From Here to Eternity,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “The Longest Day,” “In Harm’s Way,” “The Green Berets,” “Patton,” “Stripes,” “The Right Stuff” and “Top Gun.”
An active member of the Washington, D.C., film community, Baruch was a former president of the Washington Film Council (now the Washington Film and Video Council), a member of CINE, and served as a judge for the U.S. Information Agency’s Golden Eagle Awards panel.
Baruch is survived by his wife. A memorial service is planned.
Donations may be made to the Donald Baruch Memorial for Cancer Research at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.