Barber Conable (November 2, 1922 - November 30, 2003) was a U.S. Congressman and president of the World Bank. Conable was an Eagle Scout and received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Conable was born in Warsaw, New York on November 2, 1922. After graduating from Cornell University in 1942, he enlisted in the Marines. He was sent to the Pacific front in World War II, where he learned to speak Japanese and fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. After the war, he received his law degree from Cornell in 1948. He later re-enlisted and fought in the Korean War.
In 1962, Conable was elected as a Republican to the New York State Senate. After only one term, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964 from a Rochester-based district. He was reelected nine more times. He was known on both sides of the aisle for his honesty and integrity, at one point being voted by his colleagues the "most respected" member of Congress; he refused to accept personal contributions larger than $50.
A long-time ally of Richard Nixon, Conable broke with him in disgust after the revelations of the Watergate scandal. When the White House released a tape of Nixon instructing his Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman to obstruct the FBI investigation, Conable said it was a "smoking gun", a phrase which quickly entered the political folklore.
Conable retired from the House in 1984. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed him president of the World Bank. His experience as a legislator proved crucial as he persuaded his former colleagues to almost double Congress's appropriations for the Bank. He retired in 1991.
Conable married Charlotte Williams in 1952 and remained married to her until he died from a staphylococcus infection in 2003, at his winter home in Sarasota, Florida.