Democratic congressman mourned by John Kerry, Maduro dies at 82

 April 1, 2024

Former Massachusetts Democratic congressman and Norfolk County prosecutor William Delahunt, who delayed retirement to shepherd Barack Obama's first-term agenda through Congress, has died at 82. 

Delahunt passed away peacefully at home in Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born.

“While we mourn the loss of such a tremendous person, we also celebrate his remarkable life and his legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration,” his family said in a statement.

“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.”

Democrat congressman dies

Delahunt rose to Congress after winning a closely contested Democratic primary in 1996 against Congressman Gerry Studds. Delahunt went on to serve in Congress from 1997 to 2011. He was convinced by the late Senator Ted Kennedy to delay retirement to help pass President Obama's agenda.

Delahunt left Congress after the Tea Party wave in 2010 that wiped out the Democrats' House majority, but Delahunt said his decision was about family rather than politics.

"It became clear that I wanted to spend my time, the time that I have left, with my family, with my friends and with my loved ones," Delahunt said at the time.

The congressman faced controversy in 2010 when a college professor, Amy Bishop, was charged in a shooting rampage in Alabama decades after Delahunt declined to charge her for the 1986 shooting death of her brother in Massachusetts.

Delahunt, who was Norfolk County District Attorney at the time, had ruled the shooting an accident.

Maduro, Kennedy pay tribute

As a congressman, he was criticized for negotiating a deal with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to provide cheap oil to poor Massachusetts residents. Delahunt was at Chavez's state funeral in 2013.

Current Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro paid tribute to Delahunt on X.

"We regret the physical departure of former US Congressman William Delahunt, a great friend of Venezuela, of Commander Chávez and myself personally," reads an English translation of Maduro's post.Former Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate John Kerry also paid tribute to Delahunt and his work as a prosecutor.

"I admired Billy before I had ever even met him because there was already buzz about this young idealist revolutionizing the justice system in Norfolk County," Kerry wrote.

"So many things we take for granted everywhere today hadn't been done anywhere at all until Bill came along," Kerry added.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.