Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2013 (Part 2 of 3)

Here is Part Two of my political obituaries for the year, those who left us between May and August of 2013.  (See Monday’s post for January thru April; Thursday’s will have September thru December.)  As I said on Monday, this list doesn’t claim to be complete, but it includes many of those who made our lives more interesting and the world a better place.

Bowen Arrow 001Otis Bowen, 95, who served two terms as governor of Indiana and later served as President Reagan’s Health and Human Services secretary, where he headed up public education efforts regarding HIV/AIDS.  A doctor by trade and a GOP leader in the state legislature, he failed in his bid for the Republican gov. nomination in 1968 but won a landslide in 1972, beating a former Dem governor, Matthew Welsh, and was re-elected in 1976. (May 4)

George Leader 001George Leader, 95, a one-term Democratic governor of Pennsylvania who owed his 1954 upset election victory (over Republican Lt. Gov. Lloyd Wood) to an extensive TV advertising campaign and who as governor worked to fix the state’s mental health problem.  Unable to succeed himself as governor, he ran for the Senate in 1958 but lost to GOP Rep. Hugh Scott. (May 9)

Julia Tashjian, 74, a former Democratic secretary of state of Connecticut who lost a third-term bid to Republican Pauline Kezer in 1990. (May 9)

Billie Sol Estes, 88, the Texas wheeler-dealer who boasted of his connections to powerful figures such as Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson but whose schemes landed him in prison two times for fraud. (May 14)

Angelo Errichetti, 84, a former two-term mayor of Camden, N.J., who was convicted and sent to prison for his involvement in the Abscam scandal.  He was caught on hidden cameras acting as the intermediary between undercover agents posing as wealthy Arab businessmen and Rep. Ozzie Myers (D-Pa.), one of 7 members of Congress who were also convicted and went to prison.  Until then, Errichetti was a popular mayor, helping Camden recover from debilitating race riots and serving as a Democratic power broker in south Jersey. (May 16)

Haynes Johnson, 81, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for his civil rights coverage with the Washington Star who later joined the Post and was a familiar face on TV talk shows. (May 24)

Don Oliver, 76, a longtime NBC News correspondent who covered many presidential conventions and campaigns. (May 28)

Lautenberg 001Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 89, the five-term liberal Democratic senator from New Jersey and the oldest member of the Senate.  He was first elected in 1982, winning the seat formerly held by Harrison Williams (D), who resigned before a resolution was to be offered to expel him for his involvement in the Abscam scandal.  In that 1982 race, Lautenberg famously insinuated that his GOP opponent, Rep. Millicent, was, at 72, too old to serve.  He was re-elected twice more, in 1988 and 1994, before retiring in 2000.  But he returned to the Senate in 2002 when his bitter enemy, fellow Democrat Robert Torricelli, dropped out of his own re-election race in October over ethics charges.  Lautenberg won that race and another one in 2008.  In the Senate he was a tireless battler for tougher environmental, anti-smoking and gun control laws.  He had already announced he would not seek re-election in 2014 but prior to that made it clear that he resented the maneuverings by Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, to win the seat.  Booker won the seat in a special October election nearly five months after his death. (June 3)

Paul Cellucci, 65, the lt. gov. of Massachusetts who became governor in 1997 when the incumbent, fellow Republican William Weld, resigned following his nomination to become U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (which was blocked by Jesse Helms in the Senate).  A moderate in the mold of Weld, he defeated Scott Harshbarger (D) in the 1998 election but left before his term was completed to become President Bush’s ambassador to Canada. (June 8)

Barbara Vucanovich, 91, a seven-term (1983-96) Republican member of the House from Nevada who was a strong advocate on breast cancer issues. (June 10)

Alice Kundert, 92, the GOP secretary of state from South Dakota who finished 4th in the 1986 gov. primary won by George Mickelson. (June 10)

Doug Bailey, 79, a former Republican consultant whose clients included Nelson Rockefeller and Gerald Ford and who founded the first political Web site, The Hotline, in 1987.  In his later years, disillusioned with Democrats and Republicans, he hoped to build a third party and convince NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president. (June 10)

Thomas Evans, 82, a law partner of Richard Nixon’s who played a key role in Nixon’s 1968 and ’72 presidential victories. (June 11)

Jim Holshouser, 78, whose victory in 1972 made him the first Republican governor of North Carolina of the 20th century.  Richard Nixon’s strong showing that year helped Holshouser defeat the Democratic candidate, Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles, the father of Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.  Limited to one term because of state law, he faced an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature and failed to implement many of his proposals. (June 17)

Paul Eggers, 94, the Republican nominee for governor of Texas in 1968 and 1970, losing to Preston Smith (D) both times. (June 21)

William Hathaway, 89, a one-term Democratic senator from Maine who defeated the legendary Margaret Chase Smith in 1972 but lost to Bill Cohen six years later.  He was elected to the House on his second try, in 1964, and served until unseating Smith.  He pushed for women to be admitted to U.S. military academies and was one of only three senators who voted against confirming President Nixon’s choice of Gerald Ford as his VP in 1973. (June 24)

Marc Rich, 78, the financier whose propensity for shady business practices led to indictments for tax evasion and illegal dealings, but who fled to Switzerland to escape prosecution … and was rewarded with a pardon from President Bill Clinton on Clinton’s last day in office.  Not long after it was revealed that Rich’s ex-wife Denise had given more than $1 million to Democratic causes and the Clinton library. (June 26)

Bill Gray 001William Gray, 71, a Philadelphia minister who was elected to the House in 1978 and rose to Majority Whip, becoming the highest-ranking elected African-American in Congress.  Gray took on veteran Pennsylvania congressman Robert Nix Jr. in the 1976 Democratic primary but lost by just 339 votes.  Back for a rematch in the ’78 primary, Gray won in a landslide.  In Congress he was a leading critic of South African apartheid.  He also served as House Budget Cmte chair before becoming Whip in 1989.  But he unexpectedly resigned in 1991 to become president of the United Negro College Fund. (July 1)

Arlan Stangeland, 83, a Minnesota Republican who won national attention in 1977 by winning a special congressional election for the seat vacated by Carter Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland (D).  Stangeland served until questions about his relationship with a female lobbyist cost him his seat in 1990, when he lost to Democrat Collin Peterson, who still serves. (July 2)

David Cargo, 84, a liberal Republican and, at age 37, the youngest governor in New Mexico history when he won the first of his two two-year terms in 1966.  As governor he opposed anti-union legislation and the death penalty, and fought to raise minimum wage and school funding.  In 1970 he ran for the Senate but got clobbered in the GOP primary, and was trounced in a bid against Rep. Bill Richardson (D) in 1986.  He also ran for mayor of Albuquerque and state treasurer of Oregon. (July 5)

Duane Berentson, 84, a longtime member of the Washington House of Reps. who narrowly lost the Republican gov. nomination to John Spellman in 1980. (July 5)

Donald Irwin, 86, a three-term Democratic House member from Connecticut, winning in 1958, losing in 1960, winning again in 1964 and 1966, and finally losing his last campaign in 1968, to Republican Lowell Weicker.  His 1960, ’64 and ’66 races, all close, were against Abner Sibal.  He later served two terms as mayor of Norwalk.  (July 7)

Robert Hardesty, 82, a speechwriter for President Lyndon Johnson who later served as press secretary for Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe (D). (July 8)

Vernon Romney, 89, a former Utah attorney general and the GOP nominee for governor in 1976, when he lost to Scott Matheson (D).  He was a cousin of Mitt Romney. (July 13)

Lou Hill, 89, a former Pennsylvania state senator who unsuccessfully challenged Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo in the 1975 Democratic primary. (July 13)

Leonard Garment, 89, the legal counsel to President Richard Nixon in 1973-74, during the height of the Watergate scandal. (July 13)

Richard “Spike” Carey, 84, a state rep. from Maine who finished third to Joe Brennan in the 1978 Democratic primary for governor. (July 19)

Helen Thomas, 92, a longtime White House correspondent for UPI who broke gender barriers throughout her career and who managed to antagonize nearly every president with her persistent and unrelenting line of questions in an attempt to get past evasive answers. (July 20)

William Guste Jr., a former five-term Louisiana state attorney general (1972-92). (July 24)

Garry Davis, 91, the self-styled “World Citizen No. 1” who supported total nuclear disarmament and the elimination of national borders, and who made quixotic bids for mayor of Washington, D.C. in 1986 and president, in 1988, on the World Citizen Party ticket. (July 24)

Hans Tanzler, 86, the former mayor of Jacksonville who finished third in the 1978 Democratic primary for gov. of Florida. (July 25)

Lindy 001Lindy Boggs, 97, a Louisiana Democrat who succeeded her late husband, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, after he was lost in a 1972 plane crash, and went on to serve nine terms in Congress.  Throughout Hale Boggs’ long career (House 1941-42, 1947-72), she served as his campaign manager and oversaw his congressional office.  They both were known for supporting civil rights legislation, a rarity among Southern politicians.  After Hale Boggs disappeared in Alaska in October 1972 while making a campaign appearance with Rep. Nick Begich (D-Alaska), he was re-elected posthumously (as was Begich).  Lindy Boggs won a 1973 special election and served until her retirement after 1990.  Known for her charm and graciousness, she was a popular figure in Washington as well as her native New Orleans.  In Congress she fought for the rights of women and blacks.  In 1983, her district was redrawn to make it a black majority, but she still managed to win three more times before retiring.  Years later President Bill Clinton named her ambassador to the Vatican. (July 27)

Herb Kaplow, 86, a longtime correspondent for NBC News and later ABC News, where he covered, among other stories, the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba in 1959, and civil rights marches of the 1960s.  He also reported on every presidential election from 1956 to 1992, and spent much of his time covering Richard Nixon. (July 27)

Scranton 64 001William Scranton, 96, a Pennsylvania Republican who served one term in the House and one as governor, and who is best remembered for his 11th hour challenge to Sen. Barry Goldwater for the 1964 presidential nomination.  A moderate Republican who was liberal on social issues and conservative on fiscal ones, Scranton defeated freshman Rep. Stanley Prokop.  While in the House he generally supported Kennedy Administration initiatives.  Two years later he pulled off an astonishing upset, defeating Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth for the governorship.  In 1964, after Nelson Rockefeller, the choice of the moderate-liberal wing of the GOP, failed to knock off Goldwater in the primaries and left the race, Scranton declared his candidacy just prior to the convention.  But the Arizona senator won the nomination on the first ballot.  Scranton was constitutionally ineligible to seek a second term as gov. in 1966 and never ran for office again.  He was President-elect Nixon’s envoy to the Middle East in late 1968, and in 1976 President Ford named him as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, following the resignation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who ran for the Senate from New York. (July 28)

Lois DeBerry, 68, the longest serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives who was the second black woman ever elected to the state’s legislature.  A close friend of former Vice President Al Gore, she gave a nominating speech for him at the 2000 Democratic convention. (July 28)

Peter Flanigan, 90, a top business and economic aide to President Nixon who worked on his 1960 and 1968 campaigns. (July 29)

Byrd 001Harry Byrd Jr., 98, the son of the legendary Virginia Democratic powerbroker who replaced his ailing father in the Senate in 1965 and went on to serve until his retirement in 1982.  Byrd was a state senator when his father, Harry Byrd Sr. — in the Senate since 1933, who controlled politics in the one-party Old Dominion and was a leading fiscal conservative and segregationist — resigned because of health reasons in ’65.  Gov. Albertis Harrison (D), a Byrd ally, appointed his son to fill the seat.  He also shared the political beliefs of his father, who died in 1966.  By then the Democratic Party was undergoing changes, with more liberals and African-Americans entering the mix.  Byrd barely won renomination in the special 1966 Dem primary, escaping past former state Sen. Armistead Boothe (the same day the other conservative Va. senator, A. Willis Robertson, lost to liberal William Spong in the Dem primary).  Rather than risk another close primary in 1970, Byrd — with the tacit support of the Nixon administration — quit the Democratic Party to run as an independent.  In doing so he easily defeated the nominees of the two major parties; in 1976, Byrd (I) won big again, but this time against a Democratic nominee; the GOP failed to field a candidate.  But until his retirement in 1982, he continued to caucus with the Democrats. (July 30)

Jack Hightower, 86, a five-term (1975-84) Democratic congressman from Texas.  In the Watergate year of 1974, state Sen. Hightower knocked off GOP incumbent Robert Price and served in the House until the Reagan landslide year of 1984, when he lost to Beau Boulter (R).  He was later elected to the state Supreme Court. (Aug. 3)

John Palmer, 77, a former NBC News correspondent who covered five presidents and who broke the story of the failed 1980 effort to rescue Americans held hostage by Iran. (Aug. 3)

Jackie Gingrich, 77, the first wife of Newt Gingrich whose divorce from the future Speaker became a campaign issue; a widespread rumor was that he served her divorce papers while she was in a hospital being treated for cancer, a rumor vigorously denied by others in Gingrich’s family. (Aug. 7)

Bill Lynch, 72, a Democratic strategist who was the key force behind the 1989 election of David Dinkins, NYC’s first African-American mayor.  (Aug. 9)

William Clark, 81, a close friend and adviser of Ronald Reagan’s, serving as California Gov. Reagan’s chief of staff and President Reagan’s deputy secretary of state, national security adviser and interior secretary. (Aug. 10)

Simeon Golar, 84, NYC’s Housing Authority chair under Mayor John Lindsay who lost bids for state attorney general in 1966 and for NYC council president in 1973, both on the Liberal Party line. (Aug. 11)

Jack Germond, 85, an “old school” political reporter, longtime columnist for the Baltimore Sun, author of presidential campaign books and a familiar pundit on TV, most notably the McLaughlin Group. (Aug. 14)

Bert Lance 001Bert Lance, 82, a longtime confidant to Jimmy Carter whose tenure in the Carter Cabinet was cut short because of ethics questions.  A key aide during Carter’s unsuccessful 1966 and successful 1970 runs for governor of Georgia, Lance hoped to succeed his friend in 1974 but finished third in the Democratic primary.  After Carter was elected president in 1976, the first person he named to a Cabinet-level post was Lance, at the Office of Management and Budget.  Accused of trading on his ties to the president, he resigned eight months later.  He was also cleared of wrongdoing in 1980 for bank fraud.  In 1982 he became chair of the Ga. Democratic Party and later served as advisers to prez candidates Walter Mondale and Jesse Jackson. (Aug. 15)

Lew Wood, 84, an NBC News reporter who covered the civil rights movement in the South and who was in Dallas that day in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. (Aug. 21)

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate from New York in the 1982 GOP primary.  (Aug. 24)

Gilligan 001John Gilligan, 92, whose one term as governor of Ohio is best remembered for establishing a state income tax — an accomplishment that ended his political career.  A strong liberal, he was elected to the House on President Lyndon Johnson’s coattails in 1964, ousting GOP Rep. Carl Rich in a close race.  Two years later he himself was unseated by Robert Taft Jr.  In 1968, he took on veteran Sen. Frank Lausche, a longtime conservative, in the Democratic primary and defeated him, but lost in the general election to William Saxbe.  In 1970 he won the governorship over Republican candidate Roger Cloud.  As governor, faced with a huge deficit, he instituted the state’s first corporate and personal income tax.  Seeking a second term in the anti-Republican Watergate year of 1974, he was a clear favorite over a comebacking ex-Gov. James Rhodes, but he could not overcome the reaction to the rise in taxes; he lost by just 11,000 votes out of nearly three million cast.  His daughter is Kathleen Sebelius, the former Kansas governor and current Health and Human Services Secretary in the Obama Cabinet. (Aug. 26)

David Frost, 74, the British broadcaster whose 1977 interviews with Richard Nixon made news when he got the former president to apologize for his role in the Watergate scandal that drove him from office. (Aug. 31)

 

 

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