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His father, Alanson B. Houghton, served as a United States Representative from New York, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Germany and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. His son, Amory Houghton Jr., served as a United States Representative from New York. His second cousin was actress Katharine Hepburn.
Houghton received the Silver Buffalo Award in 1945 and served as the National president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1946 to 1951. He also served on the World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1949 until 1955.
Mr. Houghton was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, in 1955.