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Marilyn Lloyd, 10-term Tennessee congresswoman, dies at 89

Marilyn Lloyd in 1975. (AP)

Marilyn Lloyd, who became the first Tennessee woman elected to a full term in Congress and served her Chattanooga district from 1975 to 1995, died Sept. 19 in Hixson, Tenn. She was 89.

Her family announced the death in a statement but gave no other details.

Mrs. Lloyd’s husband, a Chattanooga TV news anchor, was the Democratic candidate for the seat in 1974 when an airplane he was piloting crashed, and he was killed. Democratic leaders urged Mrs. Lloyd to pick up his mantle and run against the Republican incumbent, LaMar Baker, in a year viewed as a referendum on the GOP and Nixon White House after the Watergate scandal.

Over the next 10 terms, Mrs. Lloyd did not lose a race. She served on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired the subcommittee on energy research and development, and looked after the legislative needs of the atomic energy facilities at Oak Ridge in her district.

She also chaired the House Select Committee on Aging’s subcommittee on housing and consumer interests. A breast cancer survivor, she sought expansion of mammography coverage in health plans. She co-sponsored the Mammography Quality Standards Act, which became law in 1992.

Rachel Marilyn Laird was born in Fort Smith, Ark., on Jan. 3, 1929. After graduating from high school in Bowling Green, Ky., she married Robert Davison and attended Shorter College in Rome, Ga. Her first husband died, and she later married Mort Lloyd. In addition to his TV duties, they owned and operated WTTI, a radio station in Dalton, Ga.

Her third marriage, to Joseph Bouquard, ended in divorce. Her fourth husband, Robert Fowler, predeceased her. She had three children, but a complete list of survivors was not immediately available.

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