Victor Crawford

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Victor Crawford was a former tobacco industry lobbyist who got cancer, changed sides and became an anti-tobacco advocate.


Victor Crawford was a smoker since he was 13 years old. He practiced law in Rockville, Maryland before getting elected to the Maryland Legislature, where he served from 1966 to 1983. After leaving the legislature, Victor Crawford went to work as a lobbyist for the Tobacco Institute, where he worked from from 1986 to 1991.

In January of 1991, Crawford felt a sharp pain in his neck, which was initially incorrectly diagnosed as an inflamed artery. Later that year, he discovered it was a squamous cell carcinoma caused by smoking. By 1993, the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver and pelvic bone.

In 1994, Crawford agreed to provide revealing information about tobacco industry lobbying practices to a journalist who produced articles for the New York Times Magazine. Crawford went on to give other interviews (including one to the Journal of the American Medical Association), appear in anti-smoking television ads and radio public service announcements, and to inform tobacco control groups about tobacco industry lobbying strategies and tactics.

In one 1995 interview, Crawford said, "I told politicians that there was no evidence that smoking causes cancer. If that's not lying, I don't know what is. I'm just trying to undo some of the damage I've done."[1]

Crawford recieved awards for his public health work.

He died on March 2, 1996 at the age of 63.

Crawford got tobacco-induced throat cancer (1994) and became a tobacco control supporter.(Health Line 8/2/94) Victor Crawford was a successful attorney from Rockville, Maryland.

Crawford decided in November 1992 to go public with his misgivings about his work for the tobacco industry. He practiced law in Rockville, Maryland. (Victor Crawford article published in the Corporate Crime Reporter 13, Monday, 3/13/95)

Crawford was a skilled persuasive lobbyist. He has served 16 years in the Maryland legislature, first in the House of Delegates and then in the Senate, before he retired from it in 1982 and became a lobbyist.

External Resources

Revealing 1995 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl:

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