Reports coming from Senator Mark Kirk’s chief of staff indicate that Illinois U.S. Representative Phil Crane has died in Virginia. The Illinois Congressman was 84-years-old and the reports says that his death was from lung cancer. The Congressman died at his daughters home Saturday night, surrounded by his family.
Chicago suburbs in the far northwest of the city were represented by Congressman Crane for 35 years. Until he was defeated by a political newcomer, Democrat Melissa Bean, in 2004, Crane had been the longest-serving House Republican. Crane was elected to Congress in 1966 and filled the open seat left by a young Donald Rumsfeld, who left to become part of the Nixon administration. Crane unsuccessfully ran for president in 1980 and made a name for himself throughout his political career as an anti-tax crusader.
Crane served alongside his brother Dan who was a congressman from another Illinois district. The pair earned the moniker of “The Kennedys of the Right.” He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene Catherine Johnson, and a daughter.
By Carl Auer