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    In Memoriam

    By Ken Rudin
    Special to
    Monday, January 4, 1999

    It was a year unlike any other, in which our institutions were tarred and our political process was stained. But 1998 was also a year in which we lost some true political giants: Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Clark Clifford, Mo Udall.

    We lost other political voices as well: the unfailing optimism of congressmen Sonny Bono and Steve Schiff, the strong liberalism of Bella Abzug and Benjamin Spock.

    We lost Bebe Rebozo and Maurice Stans from the Nixon era. We lost Sam Yorty and Tom Bradley, who presided over Los Angeles as it grew into a major city. And many others.

    Presented here is a chronological list of those from the political world who died in 1998. It does not claim to be complete, but it includes many of those who made our lives more interesting and the world a better place.

    Sonny Bono, 62, the former pop singer and TV star who improbably went on to win two elections as a Republican congressman from California. (Jan. 5)

    Jack Conway, 80, a former chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action and a leader in President Johnson's War on Poverty who resurfaced as the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Congress against Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) in 1988. (Jan. 6)

    Frank Theis, 86, a former Kansas Democratic state chairman who lost the 1960 Senate race and later presided over the trial involving the late Karen Silkwood. (Jan. 17)

    Samuel Wright, 73, a former state assemblyman who unsuccessfully challenged then-Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) for renomination in the 1976 Democratic primary. (Jan. 20)

    C. Elmer Anderson, 85, a Minnesota Republican who defeated Orville Freeman for the governorship in 1952 only to lose a rematch two years later. (Jan. 22)

    Lionel Wilson, 82, a Democrat whose 1977 election made him the first black mayor of Oakland, Calif. He went on to serve three terms. (Jan. 23)

    Kenneth Sherbell, 80, a state senator from Brooklyn who was a leading figure in the 1948 presidential candidacy of Progressive Party nominee Henry Wallace. (Jan. 23)

    Joseph Alioto, 81, who served two terms as mayor of San Francisco (1968-76) and nominated Hubert Humphrey at the 1968 Democratic presidential convention. He lost the 1974 California gubernatorial primary to Jerry Brown. (Jan. 29)

    Sam Marcy, 86, a former Socialist Workers Party organizer who founded the more hard-line Workers World Party in 1959. (Feb. 1)

    Norman Levy, 67, a New York Republican state senator since 1971 who sponsored the nation's first mandatory seat-belt law. (Feb. 7)

    William Lambert, 78, an investigative reporter for Life magazine whose work led to the resignation of Abe Fortas from the Supreme Court in 1969. (Feb. 8)

    Thomas Dunn, 76, a New Jersey Democrat who served as mayor of Elizabeth for 28 years until his defeat in the 1992 primary. (Feb. 11)

    Richard White, 74, a Democratic congressman from Texas from 1965 to 1983. (Feb. 18)

    Penny Severns, 46, a Democratic state senator from Illinois and her party's 1994 nominee for lieutenant governor. (Feb. 21)

    (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    Abe Ribicoff, 87, whose long career as a Connecticut Democrat included service as congressman (1949-53), governor (1955-61), Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare under President Kennedy (1961-62) and senator (1963-81). Ribicoff is probably best remembered for his denunciation of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for "Gestapo" police tactics at the 1968 Democratic presidential convention. (Feb. 22)

    Donald Russell, 92, the first governor of South Carolina (1963-65) to hold an integrated inauguration. While serving as governor in 1965, Russell appointed himself to the Senate following the death of Olin Johnston. He was ousted in the 1966 Democratic primary by former Governor Fritz Hollings. (Feb. 22)

    Garner Shriver, 85, a Kansas Republican who served eight terms in Congress (1961-77) until his defeat at the hands of now-Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman. (March 1)

    James McDougal, 57, the former business partner of Bill and Hillary Clinton whose claims of fraud helped lead to the Whitewater scandal. (March 8)

    Benjamin Spock, 94, the famed pediatrician who became an anti-Vietnam War activist and the People's Party presidential candidate in 1972. (March 15)

    George Humphreys, 65, a longtime adviser and advance man to New York's then-governor Nelson Rockefeller. (March 16)

    Wilbur Lee Matthews, an attorney who represented former Texas governor Coke Stevenson after he lost to Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1948 Democratic Senate primary. (March 17)

    John O'Connell, 78, a three-term Washington state attorney general who was the 1968 Democratic candidate for governor. (March 24)

    Steven Schiff, 51, who was in his fifth term as a GOP House member from New Mexico. (March 25)

    David Powers, 85, a longtime aide and confidant of President Kennedy whose relationship with JFK began with his first run for Congress in 1946. (March 27)

    (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    Bella Abzug, 77, the brash New York feminist who served six years in the House (1971-77) but finished her career with losses in the 1976 Democratic Senate primary, the 1977 New York City mayoral primary and three subsequent House campaigns. (March 31)

    James Sparling, 69, who spent 12 years as chief of staff to Rep. James Harvey (R-Mich.) and then unsuccessfully sought to succeed him in a special 1974 election. (April 2)

    David Jones, 60, a former leading official of Young Americans for Freedom who later successfully managed the New York Senate campaign of Conservative nominee James Buckley in 1970. (April 7)

    Maurice Stans, 90, President Nixon's Commerce secretary and finance chairman for the 1972 Committee for the Reelection of the President. Stans pleaded guilty to accepting illegal campaign contributions during the Watergate scandal. (April 14)

    Terry Sanford, 80, whose election as governor of North Carolina in 1960 opened an era of racial conciliation. Sanford made two abortive attempts for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1970s and served one term as senator until his 1992 defeat to Republican Lauch Faircloth. (April 18)

    Robert Testo, 78, a former Democratic speaker of the Connecticut House. (April 21)

    Eldridge Cleaver, 62, author of "Soul on Ice," whose political transformation took him from Black Panther Party's minister of information to Ronald Reagan supporter in 1980. (May 1).

    Jennings Randolph, 96, a West Virginia Democrat who was elected to the House in 1932, lost his seat in the GOP sweep of 1946, but then went on to serve 26 years (1959-85) in the Senate. (May 8)

    Bebe Rebozo, 85, a self-made Florida millionaire and longtime friend of Richard Nixon. (May 8)

    Blanche Revere Long, 93, who made national headlines in 1959 when she had her husband, then Louisiana Gov. Earl Long, committed to a mental hospital. (May 11)

    Tom Bolack, 80, a self-made millionaire who succeeded to the governorship of New Mexico in 1962 when Gov. Edwin Mecham (R) stepped down -- and who then promptly appointed Mecham to a vacant Senate seat. (May 20)

    (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    Barry Goldwater, 89, a five-term GOP senator from Arizona (1959-65, 1969-87) whose bid for the presidency in 1964 ended in a landslide defeat but made him an everlasting hero to conservatives across the country. (May 29)

    Sam Yorty, 88, who won six elections to the House as a conservative California Democrat before becoming mayor of Los Angeles in 1961. Yorty sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, only to lose the mayoralty the following year to Tom Bradley. (June 5)

    Prentiss Walker, 80, who in 1964 became Mississippi's first GOP congressman since Reconstruction. Two years later, he was his party's nominee against Democratic Sen. James Eastland. (June 5)

    Thomas Abernethy, 95, a conservative Mississippi Democrat who served in the House from 1943 to 1973. (June 11)

    Paul O'Dwyer, 91, a liberal Democrat and one-term New York city council president (1974-78) who earlier lost two races for the Senate, one for the House, and one for mayor. (June 24)

    Louis Goldstein, 85, a Maryland Democrat who served as state comptroller for 40 years. (July 3)

    Lenore Romney, 89, the widow of former Michigan governor George Romney and herself the 1970 GOP Senate nominee against incumbent Democrat Phil Hart. (July 7)

    Watkins Abbitt, 90, a former Democratic congressman from Virginia (1948-73) and a strong segregationist. (July 13)

    Arthur Barbieri, 82, a Connecticut Democrat who helped build New Haven's powerful Democratic machine. (Aug. 2)

    Chalmers Wylie, 77, an Ohio Republican who served in the House from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. (Aug. 14)

    Jack Williams, 88, a former governor of Arizona (1967-75) who, with Barry Goldwater, helped turn the state into a GOP bastion. (Aug. 24)

    Charles Diggs, 75, a Michigan Democrat who helped found the Congressional Black Caucus and whose 25 years in the House came to an end with his resignation in 1980, two years after his conviction and subsequent censure over a kickback scheme. (Aug. 24)

    Lewis Powell, 90, a key centrist Supreme Court Justice during his 15-year tenure. (Aug. 25)

    Floyd Haskell, 82, a Colorado Democrat who upset Sen. Gordon Allott (R) in the 1972 Senate race but was himself ousted six years later by Republican Bill Armstrong. (Aug. 25)

    Carl Shipley, 82, a longtime GOP leader in heavily Democratic Washington, D.C., starting with Eisenhower and ending in the late 1970s. (Aug. 25)

    Harold Ezell, 61, the co-author of California's anti-immigration Proposition 187. (Aug. 25)

    Ralph Caso, 80, a New York Republican who served eight years as Nassau county executive and was the 1978 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor. (Aug. 31)

    Albert Johnson, 92, a Pennsylvania Republican who served in the House from 1963 until 1977. (Sept. 1)

    Allen Drury, 80, a political novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1959 book, "Advise and Consent." (Sept. 2)

    Kirk O'Donnell, 52, a longtime Democratic strategist who was the chief counsel to then-House Speaker Tip O'Neill. (Sept. 5)

    George Danielson, 83, a California Democrat whose 11 years in the House (1971-82) were highlighted by his service on the judiciary committee during Watergate. (Sept. 12)

    (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    George Wallace, 79, whose opposition to integration as governor of Alabama (1963-67, 1971-79, 1983-87) led to four bids for the presidency – including one, in 1968, in which he carried five states, and one, in 1972, in which he was paralyzed in an assassination attempt. (Sept. 13)

    Muriel Humphrey Brown, 86, whose first husband Hubert Humphrey was vice president under Lyndon Johnson, the 1968 Democratic presidential nominee and a longtime senator from Minnesota. Brown was appointed to fill her late husband's Senate seat in 1978. (Sept. 20)

    Tom Bradley, 80, the first African-American mayor of Los Angeles who was elected five times but failed in two bids (1982 and 1986) as the Democratic nominee for governor. (Sept. 29)

    D. French Slaughter, 73, a Virginia Republican who was elected four times to the House but who resigned in 1991 due to health problems. (Oct. 2)

    Joseph Merlino, 76, a former New Jersey state Senate president who lost in his bids for governor in the 1981 Democratic primary and for Congress in 1982 to GOP Rep. Chris Smith. (Oct. 7)

    Norman Clapp, 83, an aide to the late Sen. Robert LaFollette Jr. (R-Wis.) in the 1930s and '40s. Clapp made three unsuccessful bids for Congress between 1956 and 1960 as a Democrat. (Oct. 7)

    Clark Clifford, 91, a major adviser to four Democratic presidents who briefly served as Lyndon Johnson's secretary of defense. (Oct. 10)

    Compton White, 77, an Idaho Democratic House member who was defeated in his bid for a third term in 1966. (Oct. 19)

    Tommy Burks, 58, a Democratic state senator from Tennessee who was allegedly murdered by his GOP opponent. (Oct. 19)

    Francis Sargent, 83, who became governor of Massachusetts in 1969 when Gov. John Volpe was selected as President Nixon's Secretary of Transportation, and whose own gubernatorial career ended in a 1974 defeat to Michael Dukakis. (Oct. 22)

    Burton Cross, 95, a Republican who served one term as governor of Maine (1952-55) until his defeat by Ed Muskie in 1954. (Oct. 22)

    Gene Taylor, 70, who served eight terms in the House as a Republican from Missouri, from 1973 to 1989. (Oct. 27)

    Anthony Celebrezze, 88, who went from mayor of Cleveland to Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations – becoming the first Italian-American to serve in a cabinet. Celebrezze lost his bid for the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1958. (Oct. 29)

    Alfred Bingham, 93, a son of the late Sen. Hiram Bingham (R-Conn.) who as a left-wing radical founded the journal "Common Sense" in 1932 and lost a Connecticut Democratic congressional primary bid in 1952. (Nov. 2)

    Kenneth Bastian, 49, a former campaign press secretary for presidents Reagan and Bush. (Nov. 5)

    William McManus, 98, the treasurer for the RNC from 1973 until 1997. (Nov. 14)

    Kwame Ture, 57, who as Stokely Carmichael founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s and later became the leading proponent of "black power," before moving to Guinea and changing his name to Kwame Ture. (Nov. 15)

    Evelyn McPhail, 68, a former RNC co-chair. (Nov. 25)

    Dante Fascell, 81, a former Democratic congressman from Florida (1955-93) and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Nov. 28)

    Matt Reese, 71, a veteran Democratic consultant who organized the volunteer effort on behalf of Sen. John F. Kennedy in the 1960 West Virginia presidential primary. (Dec. 1)

    Harold Clemens, 80, a Wisconsin Democrat who served one term as state treasurer from 1969 to 1971. (Dec. 3)

    (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    Albert Gore Sr., 90, the father of the vice president, whose bid for a fourth Senate term as a Tennessee Democrat ended in a bitter 1970 defeat to Republican Bill Brock. (Dec. 5)

    Lawton Chiles, 68, who was completing his tenure as the two-term Democratic governor of Florida, and who previously served three terms in the Senate, from 1971 to 1989. (Dec. 12)

    Mo Udall, 76, who succeeded his brother Stewart as a congressman from Arizona in 1961 and served as a liberal conscience in the House. Udall failed in his bids to become speaker in 1969, House majority leader in 1971 and president, losing the 1976 Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter. (Dec. 12)

    Got a question? Ask Ken Rudin:

    Ken Rudin, political editor at NPR and a former editor of the Hotline, is also the creator of's ScuttleButton contest.

    © Copyright 1999 Ken Rudin

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