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He Made the Gavel Boehner Wielded

Slagle made the gavel that Boehner used as speaker. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Former Speaker John A. Boehner mourned the loss of a mentor and friend Tuesday who created the gavel the Ohio Republican used to lead the House.  

Richard "Dick" Slagle, of Middletown, Ohio, died at 90 years old.  

“His spirit was as strong as the wood of the gavel he fashioned for me as I prepared to become Speaker,” Boehner said in a statement. “That gavel was by my side through my speakership as a source of confidence and strength — the gift of a teacher, a mentor, and a true friend.”  

Slagle worked at Armco steel company, now AK Steel Holding Corporation until he retired in 1985. Previously, he worked at the Middletown Chamber of Commerce for 10 years. “He became an icon in the Middletown community,” Boehner said.  

Boehner considered Slagle a mentor. “Dick believed I could do it before anybody else did. He believed in me before I believed it myself,” he said.  

The former speaker concluded his statement by saying, "He was one of the greatest men I ever knew.”

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