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James Mooney, Former NCTA Chief, Dead at 69

James Mooney, who as head of what is now the National Cable & Telecommunications Association successfully persuaded Congress to deregulate the industry, died Friday, Dec. 21. He was 69.

Mooney died at his home on Bainbridge Island, Wash., after a long illness, according to his family.

Mooney served from 1984 to 1993 as president and CEO of NCTA, then known as the National Cable Television Association. He was the principal strategist in the efforts that resulted in the Congressional enactment of the deregulatory Cable Communications Act of 1984. Mooney also was a member of CableLabs' founding board of directors.

Most recently, James Mooney was principal and managing partner of JLM Partners, a Seattle-based boutique corporate communications firm. Founded by Mooney and his wife, Louise, JLM Partners advises a wide range of clients in cable, wireless, and video services.

"The cable community mourns the passing of Jim Mooney, our strong and dedicated leader during an era of extraordinary industry growth when cable helped define American culture,” NCTA president and CEO Michael Powell said in a statement. “Jim's leadership in Washington aided in enabling development of the modern cable industry.”

Powell continued, “During his tenure, cable saw a dramatic rise in the number of households subscribing to multichannel video as well as the appearance of precursors to many of today's consumer-friendly and highly interactive services and technologies. Forging effective advocacy and business growth, Jim demonstrated a passionate and lifelong commitment to the success of cable and extending its many benefits to consumers.”

James Pierce Mooney III was born May 28, 1943, in Fall River, Mass. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island and a law degree from New York University.

Prior to joining NCTA, Mooney served four years as chief of staff to Rep. John Brademas (D-Ind.), the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Among his industry recognitions, Mooney was named a member of the Cable Center’s Cable Hall of Fame for 2013. In 1986, he was the recipient of the first Cable Pioneers Award for Leadership in the cable industry.

Mooney is survived by his wife, Louise Rauscher Mooney, who is herself a former NCTA executive, and his son, James P. Mooney IV.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Jim's wife, Louise, his son, James, and the Mooney family," Powell said.

The family has asked for donations to the Hospice of Kitsap County in lieu of flowers.