Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts has died at age 82

By 37ci3 Apr1,2024



Longtime U.S. Representative William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts is a Democratic stalwart who delayed his retirement from Washington to help succeed former President Barack Obama. Obama’s legislative agendadied after a long illness, his family announced.

Delahunt died on Saturday at the age of 82 at his home in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Delahunt served 14 years in the United States house of representatives, from 1997 to 2011, for Massachusetts’ 10th congressional district. He was the District Attorney of Norfolk County from 1975 to 1996 after serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975.

Delahunt’s family said he died “peacefully” on Saturday, but did not release a specific cause of death.

“While we mourn the loss of such a great man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and his legacy of sacrifice, service and inspiration,” the statement said. “We could always turn to her for wisdom, comfort and laughter, and her absence leaves a void in our family and in our hearts.”

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, praised Delahunt’s long public service as a legislator in the nation’s capital and as a district attorney south of Boston.

“I met with Bill in Quincy in February and he was clear and committed as always to working on behalf of the people of the South Shore and Massachusetts,” Markey said. “It is an honor to open the doors of the William D. Delahunt Norfolk County Courthouse every day so that the people inside can do the hard work of improving their lives like Bill Delahunt. The Commonwealth and the country are better for Bill Delahunt’s vision and service.”

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro released a statement mourning Delahunt’s death on his former Twitter account, X. As a member of Congress, Delahunt reportedly mediated in 2005 with then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to obtain heating oil for low-income Massachusetts residents. Delahunt also attended Chávez’s state funeral in Caracas in March 2013.

Delahunt resigned from the US House of Representatives in January 2011. He told The Boston Globe that he had previously considered retiring, but Sen. Edward Kennedy, a veteran Bay State lawmaker, convinced him that he should help pass Obama’s legislative initiatives.

Delahunt’s hometown Quincy newspaper, The Patriot Ledger, reported that Delahunt became the first member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to endorse the Illinois senator’s candidacy for president.

Delahunt, who announced his retirement in March 2010, said Kennedy’s death the previous year had shifted his focus to finding time for priorities outside of Washington.

“It became clear that I wanted to spend my time, the rest of my time, with my family, friends and loved ones,” Delahunt said.



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