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Ex-Selective Service director Curtis Tarr, creator of Vietnam-era lottery draft, dies at 88

The former federal official who created the lottery for the draft during the Vietnam War has died at age 88.

Curtis Tarr died at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Friday. His daughter, Pam Tarr, said Wednesday that her father died of pneumonia.

Tarr was appointed director of the Selective Service System in 1970, by President Richard Nixon.

Pam Tarr says her father wanted to eliminate an exemption for college students and make the draft more equitable. He instituted a lottery system based on birthdays that were picked on national television.

He later served as under secretary of state for security assistance, with responsibility for military programs with other nations.

Pam Tarr says her father probably would have described the lottery as his greatest responsibility, not his greatest achievement.

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