Former Lawmaker Has Died

Former Lawmaker Has Died

( – Former Representative William Delahunt (D-MA) had a lengthy career in politics, serving the state of Massachusetts for nearly 40 years. He’s well-known for postponing his retirement to help pass one of former President Barack Obama’s initiatives but formally stepped away in 2011. He recently passed away at the age of 82.

According to The Associated Press, Delahunt’s family issued a statement on Saturday, March 30, saying the former lawmaker passed away “peacefully.” Reports indicate he suffered from a long-term illness, but his family did not elaborate on “the loss of such a tremendous person.”

Delahunt was born in July 1941 to a sales manager and a homemaker. After high school, he attended Middlebury College in Vermont and then graduated from Boston College Law School. He was inspired by politicians of his time, including former President John F. Kennedy, and got “swept up in the sentiments of those times,” per The Vineyard Gazette.

The former legislator entered politics in 1972 when he became a Quincy city councilor. From there, he joined the state House from 1973 to 1975. During a short stint as Norfolk County district attorney, he created the country’s first-ever domestic violence prevention unit, insisting women be viewed as equals “rather than just an afterthought.” He was also effective in curtailing housing discrimination.

Delahunt was elected to the US House, where he served from 1997 to 2011, when he finally retired. During those 14 years, he was touted for brokering a 2005 deal with Venezuela’s president at the time, Hugo Chavez, to help secure heating oil for his state’s low-income residents. In 2013, he attended Chavez’s funeral.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey (D) has ordered all flags to fly half-staff at state buildings and town and city halls. She released a statement about the former lawmaker, saying he “was a remarkable public servant who helped transform Massachusetts … at the local, state, and federal levels.” She extended her thoughts to his family and friends.

Delahunt’s wake is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 5.

Copyright 2024,