Former Congressman Phil Crane Dies At 84

November 10, 2014
Former Illinois Congressman Phil Crane in 2004 photo

In this 2004 photo, Republican incumbent Congressman Phil Crane, candidate for Illinois 8th District seat, greets commuters as they rush toward afternoon trains heading for his district in Chicago's suburbs.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The chief of staff for Sen. Mark Kirk says longtime Illinois U.S. Rep. Phil Crane has died of lung cancer in Virginia. He was of 84. 

Eric Elk says Crane died Saturday night surrounded by his children at his daughter's home. Elk served on Crane's staff when he was in Congress.
Crane represented Chicago's far northwest suburbs for 35 years and was the longest-serving House Republican when he was defeated in 2004 by Democrat and then-political newcomer Melissa Bean.
The conservative was first elected to Congress in 1969 when a young Illinois congressman - Donald Rumsfeld - left to work for the Nixon administration.

Crane made his name as an anti-tax crusader and ran for president in 1980.

Sen. Kirk issued a statement Sunday:

“Today we mourn the loss of one of the great leaders from northern Illinois. He will always be remembered for vowing to never raise taxes, a promise he kept through his long career, and for expanding trade opportunities for our state. I send best wishes and prayers to his family.”

13th District Congressman Rodney Davis said:

"Congressman Phil Crane was truly a legend, and his experience and leadership for the people of Illinois was second to none. Shannon and I are saddened to learn of his passing, and send our thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult time."

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, and a daughter.

Story source: AP