August 26, 2003 by

John J. Rhodes

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Categories: Politicians

John Jacob Rhodes II, the Arizona Republican who served as the minority leader of the House of Representatives during the Nixon presidency, died on Aug. 24 of cancer. He was 86.
Rhodes graduated from Kansas State University and Harvard Law School, then served as an administrative officer with the Army Air Forces during World War II. He practiced law in Mesa, Ariz., until 1952 when he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Rhodes was elected by a landslide, and was the first Republican to ever serve Arizona in the House. He also served the longest House of Representatives tenure in Arizona’s history.
During his 15 terms in office, Rhodes chaired the House Republican Policy Committee, served on the appropriations committee and backed the war in Vietnam. In 1973, he was elected minority leader when Gerald R. Ford became President Richard Nixon’s vice presidential running mate.
After he retired from politics in 1982, Rhodes practiced law for the Virginia firm, Hunton and Williams. He received the Congressional Distinguished Service Award in the Capitol last month.

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