Forest Windham “Woody” Horton Jr.

Forest Windham “Woody” Horton Jr. (Age 87)

Forest Windham “Woody” Horton, Jr., beloved father and grandfather, died of natural causes in his home in Washington, D.C., on December 7, 2017.  Dr. Horton was born in California, and he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951 and received a Masters degree from UCLA in 1952. He then received a teaching and research fellowship at Columbia University in New York for one year, and following that entered military service for three years, serving in the Army Counterintelligence field.  Following his military service he became employed as a government  civilian employee at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal in information technology, serving in the Werner von Braun missile program, where he learned to program and operate the early IBM mainframe computers. 

He was married following government service at ABMA and moved to Washington DC where he became employed in the IT field in a succession of Federal agencies, including GSA, USIS, USAID, State, EPA, BOB (now OMB) and the Executive Office of the President, where he served as IT director of foreign trade programs (STR).  His last regular assignment with the Federal Government was as Studies Director for the Federal Paperwork Commission, where he authored the Information Resources Management (IRM) report.

He then went overseas for the State Department, USIS and USAID, serving in the Africa bureaus of those agencies for several years.  He ended his overseas Federal Government duty as the USAID IT director in Saigon, Vietnam.  Following retirement from the US government, Dr. Horton studied at IMD in Switzerland, received a doctorate from the University of Lausanne, and was eventually nominated to be Executive Assistant to the American Ambassador to Germany. He also simultaneously served as the American consular officer for the State Department in Lausanne, while there attending school, serving in that role as a U.S. Diplomat.

He then was hired by the University of Maryland to teach at American military bases overseas, and following teaching overseas, he returned to the US and was employed as a consultant by the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), where he authored a number of studies identifying and prescribing a central leadership and management role for libraries and librarians in information management activities, including information literacy.

Finally, after fully retiring from the U.S. Government arena, he was hired as a consultant by UNESCO to prepare studies in information policy and information literacy. He also served on the PGI (Program for General Information) Council for a brief time. He remained active in the information literacy field the rest of his life. 

Dr. Horton has authored 40 books, or major US Government reports, or international reports, including one fiction work (The Technocrats), many of which have been translated into foreign languages. He also authored several hundred articles for scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, in his fields of primary interest – IRM, Information Literacy, knowledge management, and the role of the CIO.

Dr. Horton is survived by two daughters, Tina Horton LaForce of Damascus Maryland and Ingrid Lisle of Frederick Maryland, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his ex-wife, Karin Horton, who passed away on November 27, 2017.  Services for Dr. Horton will be held on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 4 p.m., at Advent Funeral & Cremation Services located at 7211 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA.  

14 Responses to Forest Windham “Woody” Horton Jr.

  1. Gerald R. Brown says:

    I always appreciated sharing consulting experiences with Woody, in the area of Information Literacy, as I travelled around the world from 1992-2017. His research was very useful, and his sharp eye to detail and logistics helped me keep my consulting work focus. RIP dear friend. Gerald R. Brown, Consultant, Information Literacy and School Librarianship, with International Association of School Librarianship. Home based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  2. Antonin says:

    My heartfelt condolences go out to your family. I will surely miss the presence of a truly lovable and kind person. Rest in peace. Dr Woody

  3. Albert K. Boekhorst says:

    Dear Woody, you were a fantastic colleague and personal friend. We managed to have to worldwide series of UNESCO TTT Train-the-trainer’ Information Literacy workshops. We were in contact nearly every day, exchanging ‘news’ and ‘gossips’. We loved you staying in our house on a channel in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, you could not come to Brasil. It’s sad that I can’t be looking out for your comments on events. I think you had a wonderful life. The ‘Information Literacy World’ owes you a lot.

  4. Elizabeth Greef says:

    My condolences to the family of a wonderful human being, Dr Woody Horton. I worked with him on the UNESCO Information Literacy Resources Handbook and enjoyed our contacts. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren. RIP Woody Horton – we will miss you.

  5. Ana Maria Ramalho Correia says:

    Dear Woody,
    You have just crossed to the other side but your enthusiasm for Information Literacy will be always here with me. We both shared an active interest concerning Information Literacy, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries;
    I know you were very proud of your Azorean ancestry.
    Your long, hard-working life was dedicated to Information Literacy; in particular, its role in the freedom of mankind.
    Thanks for all your support and farewell, Woody, my dear colleague,

  6. Richard Hunt says:

    Uncle Sonny— you will surely be missed. I have many fond memories of you visiting us in the San Francisco area when I was a child. Dungeness crab, cioppino and stories of your travels. It was with great pleasure that I was able to create a seafood feast from fish I caught myself when you visited us here in the Seattle area. Goodbye my fine Uncle.

  7. Michel Menou says:

    Not a fair game to leave at the turn of the year, thus deprinving friends from one, or more, toast. But OK I count on you to keep sharing those “unpublishable” comments which so much enlightened our exchanges over so many years. Take care old man.

  8. Dr. Sharon Weiner, W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy Emerita, Purdue University says:

    The world has lost a towering figure in information literacy, so dedicated, so influential, and so loved! It was truly an honor to know you.

  9. Luisa Marquardt says:

    Dear Tina and Ingrid,
    my deepest and sincerest sympathies for your father’s passing!
    It is a huge loss for his family, friends, colleagues, the whole Information Literacy worldwide community.
    I was truly honoured to know him and get his ongoing encouragement and advice. Your father will be missed very much! His legacy will never die!

  10. Lourense H. Das says:

    I remember Dr. Woody Horton as a kind man who offered his help and shared his professional knowledge with many. I’ve never met him personally: we kept in touch via email and social media. Woody has been instrumental in drafting the ALIES proclamation. This proclamation ‘A Library in Every School’ was shared worldwide and translated into multiple languages. The proclamation published in 2010 is still used in advocating school libraries, reading and information literacy.
    We will miss you Woody! On behalf of the ENSIL Foundation I convey my condolences to the family.

  11. Mike Koenig says:

    You were the key figure in Information Resource Management which was the progenitor of Knowledge Management and a leader there as well, You were a mentor to so many of us, and we remember you with admiration and fondness. You will be missed

  12. Terri Hall Belcourt says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was such an amazing man. My Grandparents, Donald and Audrey Sorenson and my Mom, Donna Hall spoke of him often. Your family is in my prayers.

  13. Isabelle-Florentine Weichselgartner says:

    Dear Woody,
    unfortunately we never met in person although we’re family.
    My parents and me are so sad to read that Karin and you are gone. We would have loved to meet you both this year.
    Our condolences go out to Tina, Ingrid and their closest families. I really hope that our bond between each other will not end with the loss of these great and unique people. We will pray for you and hope to speak again soon.
    Karin and Woody – you will be missed so much. Your German family from Stuttgart.

  14. Jerry Mathema says:

    He was very supportive of my endeavors to advocate for better and functional school libraries in my native Zimbabwe.

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