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Bob Michel
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U.S. Congressman
    (March 2, 1923-February 17, 2017)
    Born in Peoria, Illinois
    Represented Illinois’ 18th Congressional District (1957-95)
    House Minority Whip (1975-81)
    House Minority Leader (1981-95)
    Last name pronounced like ‘Michael’
    In a TV interview, he mentioned participating in blackface minstrel shows as a youth and said he missed the shows (1988).
    He seemed resigned to the Republicans being a minority party in the House indefinitely.
    According to ‘Time,’ he told freshmen GOP Representatives, ‘Every day I wake up and look in the mirror and say to myself, ‘Today, you’re going to be a loser.’ And after you’re here a while, you’ll start to feel the same way. But don’t let it bother you. You’ll get used to it.’
    He announced his retirement before the 1994 elections that finally produced a Republican majority and commented, ‘I feel like the small boy who ate his spinach and his broccoli but leaves the table before his mom brings the strawberry shortcake.’
    He was married to Corinne Woodruff for 55 years.
    He earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart during World War II.
    He required seven stitches after being mugged outside his Washington, DC, home (1978).
    In announcing his retirement, he noted that some members of Congress had become more interested in picking fights than passing laws.
    He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994).

Credit: C. Fishel

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