Lucien Blackwell, 71, a Philadelphia Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995, died Jan. 24 in his West Philadelphia home after an apparent heart attack.
Mr. Blackwell, who was close to Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, was appointed late last year to serve on the transition team of incoming Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D).
Mr. Blackwell was a longtime union official who styled himself a political brawler for the working class. He was a former boxer, and he served in the Army's 25th Infantry Division during the Korean War.
He served on the Philadelphia City Council from 1974 to 1991 and was succeeded by his wife, Jannie Blackwell. He was president of Local 1332 of the International Longshoremen's Association from 1973 to 1991 and served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975.
Mr. Blackwell won a special election Nov. 5, 1991, to fill the 2nd Congressional District vacancy caused by the resignation of William H. Gray III to become president of the United Negro College Fund. Mr. Blackwell won the seat with 39 percent of the vote. He lost the 1994 Democratic primary to Chaka Fattah, who went on to win the seat.
Mr. Blackwell, who was head of a debt-collection company, served as chairman of the Black Elected Officials and United Black Ward Leaders of Philadelphia. He was a state coordinator in the 1988 presidential campaign of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.