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Dan Rostenkowski
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U.S. Congressman
    (January 2, 1928-August 11, 2010)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    US Representative from Illinois (1959-95)
    Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee (1981-94)
    His bulk and Chicago accent made him a stereotype of a Daley-machine Democrat.
    His license was suspended for a year after he was busted for DWI in Wisconsin (1986).
    His proposal for a national health insurance plan resulted in a mob of angry senior citizens swarming over his car, forcing him to sprint through a gas station to escape (1989).
    He was indicted on corruption charges, including placing 'ghost' employees on his payroll, using Congressional funds to buy gifts and abusing Congressional postal perks by selling stamps for cash (1994).
    He eventually pled guilty to mail fraud (1996) and served 15 months in federal prison.
    He served in the Army during the Korean War.
    He was married to his wife Laverne for 59 years until his death.
    Economist Charles Wheelan wrote, 'We Chicagoans can drive around the city and literally point to things that Rosty built.'
    He played a key role in passing the 1986 Tax Reform Act, which lowered rates and eliminated a large number of loopholes.
    Columnist Mike Royko, one of his frequent critics, said, 'Rostenkowski was a big political fish-the kind of trophy that an ambitious federal prosecutor loves to stuff and hang on his wall…That’s what did Rostenkowski in – a federal prosecutor’s personal ambitions.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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