Categotry Archives: Politicians

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Mike O’Callaghan

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Categories: Education, Heroes, Media, Military, Politicians, Writers/Editors

mocallaghan.jpgDonal “Mike” O’Callaghan, a newspaper columnist and former governor of Nevada, died on March 5 from a heart attack. He was 74.
Born Donal O’Callaghan in LaCrosse, Wis., he adopted the first name Mike when he was a teenaged boxer. At 16, O’Callaghan enlisted in the Marines as part of the post-World War II occupation forces. He served in the Air Force as an intelligence specialist then joined the Army in order to fight in the Korean War.
On Feb. 13, 1953, his company came under heavy fire from Chinese Communist forces. To rescue several soldiers trapped in an out-guard post, O’Callaghan voluntarily put himself in harm’s way. He was hit by a mortar and badly wounded. Rigging a tourniquet out of telephone wire, O’Callaghan saved the men, crawled back to the command post and continued to direct the firefight for three more hours. His left leg was later amputated below the knee, and his efforts were rewarded with the Silver Star and a Purple Heart.
When he returned to the states, O’Callaghan earned a master’s degree from the University of Idaho and moved to Henderson, Nev., to teach high school history and economics. He helped found and run the Henderson Boys Club, became the state’s first health and welfare director and was named regional director to the federal Office of Emergency Preparedness by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
An interest in politics led O’Callaghan to run for lieutenant governor in 1966. He lost that race, but was elected to the state’s top spot four years later. During his two terms in office, the popular Democrat was best known for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment and creating the state’s Consumer Affairs Office.
After his second term ended, O’Callaghan became a journalist, spending two decades as a columnist and executive editor at the Las Vegas Sun. A high school, a park and a hospital are all named in his honor.
Timeline of O’Callaghan’s Life

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John C. West

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Categories: Education, Military, Politicians

jwest.jpgJohn Carl West, the former governor of South Carolina, died on March 21 from cancer. He was 81.
West graduated from The Citadel and attained the rank of Army major during World War II for deciphering Japanese signals for the Pentagon. At the end of the war, he served in Japan as part of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey and earned an Army Commendation Medal. In 1946, he returned to the states, obtained a law degree from the University of South Carolina and delved into politics.
West was elected as a Democrat to the state Senate in 1954 and became the state’s lieutenant governor in 1967. When he won the gubernatorial race in 1970, West pledged to rid the state government of “any vestige of discrimination” and to make it “colorblind.” Known as a man who embraced change, West hired James Clyburn as a senior aide. Clyburn later ran the State Human Affairs Commission that West set up in 1972, and became the state’s first black U.S. representative since Reconstruction.
During his tenure as governor, West created a state housing authority to run programs to help low-income individuals and families obtain affordable housing. He also passed a law that required mandatory auto insurance for all drivers and vetoed a bill re-establishing capital punishment. The Legislature later overrode the veto.
Once his term in office ended in 1975, West set up law practices in Camden and Hilton Head, S.C. Two years later, President Jimmy Carter appointed him ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where he served until 1981. His final years were spent teaching Middle East studies at the University of South Carolina. The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic leadership institute, was established at USC in 2002.

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Harold St. John

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Categories: Law, Politicians

Sir Harold Bernard “Bree” St. John, the former prime minister of Barbados, died on Feb. 29 from cancer. He was 72.
St. John studied law at London University, passed the bar and practiced in Barbados and the eastern Caribbean. He joined the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in 1959 then was appointed to the Senate as an opposition representative.
For the next three decades, St. John dedicated himself to public service. When Barbados declared its independence from Great Britain in 1966, he was elected to the House of Assembly. He held several Cabinet positions in the 1970s, including deputy prime minister, minister of trade and industry and minister of tourism. He also spent less than a year as the nation’s prime minister.
The BLP regained power in 1994, and St. John became the country’s deputy prime minister under Owen Arthur. He was knighted that same year.

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Boris Trajkovski

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Categories: Law, Politicians, Religious Leaders

btrajkovski.jpgBoris Trajkovski, the president of Macedonia, died on Feb. 26 in a plane crash. He was 47.
An ordained Methodist minister, Trajkovski studied theology in the United States and gave up Communism. He earned a law degree from St. Cyril and Methodius University then specialized in commercial and employment law. He spent 17 years as the head of the legal department of construction company Sloboda before he dedicated his life to public service.
Trajkovski worked as chief-of-office in the Skopje government administration for two years until he was appointed deputy foreign minister of Macedonia. Elected president in 1999, Trajkovski was credited with uniting his ethnically divided country. He pledged to lead Macedonia towards membership in the European Union and NATO, and was only days away from signing the formal EU application.
Trajkovski was en route to an international investment conference when his plane crashed 50 miles south of Sarajevo. Six other officials and two pilots also died. The Parliament speaker, Ljubco Jordanovski, will serve as acting president until the next election.

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Waggoner Carr

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Categories: Law, Military, Politicians, Writers/Editors

Waggoner Carr, a former Texas attorney general and state representative, died on Feb. 25 from cancer. He was 85.
Carr graduated from Texas Technological College and was studying for a law degree at the University of Texas Law School when World War II began. He served for three years as an Army Air Corps pilot then returned home to complete his law degree and open a private firm with his brother, Warlick.
Over the next two decades, Carr dedicated his life to public service. He spent two years as the Lubbock assistant district attorney, three years as a Lubbock County attorney and a decade as a state representative. From 1957 to 1961, he was the speaker of the House.
Carr was elected the attorney general of Texas in 1963. On the morning of Nov. 22, he ate breakfast with President John F. Kennedy before flying to the Panhandle for a speaking engagement. While he was en route, President Kennedy was shot and killed. Carr later testified before the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination.
After two unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and governor’s office, Carr returned to private practice. In 1971, he was tried on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal, but was eventually acquitted. The author of the 1977 memoir, “Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty,” he was writing books on Jesse James and a history of Texas attorneys general when he died.

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