David L. Cornwell, congressman

November 14, 2012
David L. Cornwell
congressman

Former U.S. lawmaker David L. Cornwell, 67, a Vietnam War veteran who served one term in Congress as an Indiana Democrat, died Nov. 2 at his home in Annapolis.

He had kidney cancer, said his wife, Jane Bogardus Cornwell.

Rep. Cornwell served in the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968, including as an operating room technician at a medevac hospital. After working with his family’s furniture manufacturing business in Indiana, he was elected in 1976 to represent the 8th Congressional District, covering the southwest corner of the state.

Rep. Cornwell served on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He joined a coalition of U.S. representatives who had served in the military during the Vietnam era and sought to focus Congress’s attention on the particular difficulties faced by Vietnam veterans.

On international matters, he introduced bills on dolphin deaths related to Japanese fishing practices.

Rep. Cornwell was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection in 1978. He later worked for several years in the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs as a liaison with foreign governments.

After his government retirement in the early 1980s, he did consulting work in fields such as government relations, finance, and prison and embassy security. He did management work for the Fordham Brewing Co. in Delaware and the Rams Head Group in Annapolis until his retirement three years ago.

David Lance Cornwell was born in Paoli, Ind. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Indiana’s 8th Congressional District in 1974.

Rep. Cornwell lived on Capitol Hill and in Falls Church before moving to Annapolis a decade ago. He had been a member of Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church.

In addition to his wife of 38 years, survivors include two children, Mary Walden and Benjamin Cornwell, both of Annapolis; and two granddaughters.

— Emily Langer

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