Richard Schweiker, 1926-2015
Richard Schweiker, a Pennsylvania Republican who served in the House, Senate and the Cabinet, then headed one of Washington’s most powerful associations, died on July 31. He was 89.
Born in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown on June 1, 1926, the World War II Navy veteran worked in the private sector before being elected to the House in 1960 and serving four terms. He won the first of two Senate terms in 1968. In 1976, his moderate stances helped convince Ronald Reagan to pledge to name him his vice presidential running mate should the Gipper win the nomination, but he lost the nod to President Gerald Ford.
Schweiker did not run for re-election in 1980. After Reagan won the presidency that year, he selected Scheweiker to be his Health and Human Services secretary, a role he filled from 1981 until 1983. After leaving the Cabinet, he headed up the American Council of Life Insurers until 1994.