Ex-Congressman William Delahunt dies at 82

 April 1, 2024

William D. Delahunt, a longtime U.S. congressman, has died at the age of 82. 

According to NPR, the news of Delahunt's passing was announced by his family on Saturday, March 27, 2024.

The family said that Delahunt died "peacefully" at his home in Quincy, Massachusetts. The family, however, did not provide further details about his passing.

They wrote, "While we mourn the loss of such a tremendous person, we also celebrate his remarkable life and his legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration. 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."

Who was William Delahunt?

Delahunt spent many years in Congress, as a Democrat, representing Massachusett's 10th congressional district.

Fox News reports, "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 Representatives from 1973 to 1975."

If Delahunt's name sounds familiar to you, it could be because of what happened towards the end of his time in Congress, when Barack Obama was president. Delahunt actually postponed his own retirement in order to help Obama and the Democrats pass legislation.

"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," the Associated Press reports.

It adds, "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."

Tributes and remembrances

Among others, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has released a statement in which he praised Delahunt for his time in Congress.

"I met with Bill in Quincy in February, and he was clear and as committed as ever to working on behalf of the South Shore and the people of Massachusetts," Markey said.

The senator added, "It is a fitting honor that the door of the William D. Delahunt Norfolk County Courthouse opens every day so that the people inside can do the hard work of making lives better, as Bill Delahunt did. The Commonwealth and the country are better for Bill Delahunt’s vision and service."

You, the reader, may be interested to learn that Venezuela's president - Nicolas Maduro - has also paid tribute to Markey.

This, according to NBC News, is because, "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." The outlet also reports that Delahunt "attended Chavez’s state funeral in Caracas in March 2013."

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