Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr, 87

Posted on February 2, 2010

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Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service Tuesday for Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. the long-serving Republican congressman and senator from Maryland.

Sen. Mathias died last week at 87. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease.

Sen. Mathias, a native of Frederick, was elected in1960 to represent the sprawling Western Maryland district, which at that time included all of Montgomery County, in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the House until 1968 and then was elected and re-elected to the U.S. Senate until he retired in 1986.

Sen. Mathias was known as a liberal Republican, something of a maverick in the Republican Party even in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a supporter of Civil Rights, and an opponent of the Vietnam War.

Toward the end of his career, Sen. Mathias was probably the most popular public figure in Maryland, although he never took re-election for granted. There never was an election that “could be put in a bag,” he once said.

Vice President Joe Biden and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley led hundreds of dignitaries and other mourners at Tuesday’s service at the National Cathedral in Washington.

For a complete obituary, please to to The Baltimore Sun or the Washington Post, which can be found in the sidebar at right.

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