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Richard Schweiker
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U.S. Senator
    (June 1, 1926-July 31, 2015)
    Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania
    Member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 13th District (1961-69)
    US Senator from Pennsylvania (1969-81)
    US Secretary of Health and Human Services (1981-83)
    Ronald Reagan promised to name Schweiker as his running mate if he won the Republican Party nomination for President (1976)
    Before going into politics, he worked for a tile company owned by his father.
    He suggested that the White House had been involved in covering up a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy.
    Reagan’s attempt to appeal to moderates by picking him as a running mate backfired as it alienated at least as many conservatives.
    Endless comparisons to the proposed Reagan-Schweiker ticket were made when Ted Cruz declared well before the 2016 Republican convention that he would name Carly Fiorina as his running mate if he were nominated.
    He was valedictorian of his high school class.
    He served on an aircraft carrier during World War II.
    He was married to Claire Coleman, a former Romper Room hostess, for 57 years.
    In the House, he drafted the Schweiker Act (1965), providing cash rewards to military personnel who come up with cost-cutting ideas, which ultimately produced over $1 billion in savings.
    He made a legitimate point that the Warren Commission investigating the JFK assassination should not have allowed the FBI and CIA to investigate themselves.
    He ended up on Richard Nixon’s enemies list after being one of the first Republicans to call on him to resign over Watergate.
    As HHS Secretary, he preserved funding for the Head Start early childhood program.

Credit: C. Fishel

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