James L. Martin, 76, who spent more than three decades as chief Washington lobbyist for the National Governors Association, died July 17 at his home in Silver Spring. He had complications from a fall in May.
Mr. Martin was regarded as the association’s top behind-the-scenes operative from 1967 until his retirement in 1998. He then had a private consulting firm until his death.
“Most of my lobbying is directed toward my members — governors — getting them to be lobbyists on particular issues,” Mr. Martin told the publication Association Management in 1988 while explaining his effectiveness.
Working on behalf of America’s governors, Mr. Martin had a well-furbished network of Washington leaders at his disposal. Four of the governors he worked beside became presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
James Lee Martin was born Dec. 23, 1934, in Catonsville, Md. He graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in economics and philosophy.