• May 29, 2024

Former US Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts Died at Age 82

(Headline USA) Longtime U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts, a Democratic stalwart who postponed his own retirement from Washington to help pass former President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda, has died following a long-term illness, his family announced.

Delahunt died Saturday at his home in Quincy, Massachusetts, at the age of 82, news reports said.

Delahunt served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1997 to 2011, for Massachusetts’s 10th congressional district. He also was the Norfolk County district attorney from 1975 to 1996 after serving in the Massachusetts House of Represenatives from 1973 to 1975.

The Delahunt family issued a statement Saturday saying he passed away “peacefully,” but did not disclose his specific cause of death, news reports said.

“While we mourn the loss of such a tremendous person, we also celebrate his remarkable life and his legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration,” the statement said. “We could always turn to him for wisdom, solace and a laugh, and his absence leaves a gaping hole in our family and our hearts.”

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela posted a statement on X, formerly Twitter, mourning Delahunt’s passing. As a member of Congress, Delahunt brokered a 2005 deal with then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to obtain heating oil for low-income Massachusetts residents, according to news reports. Delahunt also attended Chavez’s state funeral in Caracas in March 2013.

Delahunt stepped down from the U.S. House in January 2011. He told The Boston Globe he had previously considered retirement, but fellow veteran Bay State legislator Sen. Edward M. Kennedy convinced him he was needed to help pass Obama’s legislative initiatives at the time.

Delahunt was an early Obama backer, becoming the first member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to endorse the Illinois senator’s presidential bid, according to reporting by The Patriot Ledger, the newspaper in Delahunt’s hometown, Quincy.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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