Floyd Haskell Dies
Wednesday, August 26, 1998; Page B06
Floyd K. Haskell, 82, a former senator from Colorado who served one term on Capitol Hill, died of pneumonia Aug. 25. He was on vacation in Blue Hill, Maine, and was being flown to Georgetown University Hospital by air ambulance when he died.
Sen. Haskell, a Democrat, won election to the Senate in 1972, defeating incumbent Republican Gordon L. Allott by less than 10,000 votes in the same year that President Richard Nixon won reelection in a 49-state landslide.
During his six years on Capitol Hill, Sen. Haskell backed controls on auto emissions and supported the Older Americans Act and the Panama Canal treaties. He was known as a tax reformer on the Senate Finance Committee and a specialist on non-petroleum sources of energy on the Energy Committee. He was an ardent opponent of the Vietnam War and was generally identified with liberal causes.
But as a politician, he was laid-back and unaggressive, and he tended to be shy in the presence of people he didn't know. He lost his bid for reelection in 1978 to Republican William L. Armstrong, a member of the House of Representatives from Colorado who leveled devastating televised attacks on Sen. Haskell's record on spending and taxes.
Since leaving the Senate, Sen. Haskell practiced law in Washington for a brief period, then worked for various causes, including campaign finance and reforming tax laws. In 1979, he married Nina Totenberg, the legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio and ABC's "Nightline," who was on the aircraft returning to Washington with him when he died.
In 1994, Sen. Haskell suffered severe head injuries in a fall on the ice near his home in Washington, and he underwent lung surgery in 1995.
He was born in Morristown, N.J., and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. During World War II, he served in the Army.
After the war, he practiced law in Denver, and from 1965 to 1968, he served as a Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives. He was assistant majority leader in his last two years, and in 1967, he introduced a resolution opposing the Vietnam War.
After leaving the Colorado legislature, he took an active role in the anti-war movement, and he switched his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
His marriage to Eileen Nichol ended in divorce.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three children from his first marriage, Ione Haskell of New York, Eve Maxwell of Colorado and Pam Haskell of San Francisco; and three grandchildren.
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