Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office

Order Code 98-735 GOV CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office Updated March 13, 2002 Mildred Amer Specialist in American National Government Government and Finance Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office Summary This report provides an alphabetical list of the 60 Members of Congress who have died of other than natural causes while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate. Each entry includes party affiliation, the name of the state that the Member represented, dates of service, chamber in which the Member served, and cause of death. The report does not presume to be a complete list of Members who have died from other than natural causes while in office. CRS relied exclusively on available sources, and the report reflects only the extent to which they indicated the cause of a Member's death. Contents List of Tables Table 1. Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Table 1. Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of Other Than Natural Causes While in Office Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber ANDERSON, Carl Carey D OH 03/04/1909- 10/01/1912 House Died in an automobile accident near Fostoria, OH on 10/01/1912. BAKER, Edward Dickinson R IL House Killed in the Battle of Balls Bluff, VA on 10/21/1861. R OR 03/04/1845-01/15/1847 03/04/1849-03/03/1851 10/21/1860-10/21/1861 Senate Member Cause of Death and Date of Death BATES, George Joseph R MA 01/03/1937-11/01/1949 House Died in an airplane accident at Washington National Airport on 11/01/1949. BEGICH, Nicholas D AL 01/03/1971-10/16/1972 House Died in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness on 10/16/1972. BOGGS, Thomas Hale D LA 01/03/1941-01/03/1943 01/03/1947-10/16/1972 House Died in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness on 10/16/1972. BONO, Sonny R CA 01/03/1995-01/05/1998 House Died in a skiing accident at Lake Tahoe, NV on 01/05/1998. BOYLE, Charles Augustus D IL 01/03/1955-11/04/1959 House Died in an automobile accident in Chicago, IL on 11/04/1959. BRANDEGEE, Frank B. R CT 11/05/1902-05/10/1905 05/10/1905-10/14/1924 House Senate Committed suicide in Washington, DC on 10/14/1924. BRODERICK, David Colbreth D CA 03/04/1857-09/16/1859 Senate Mortally wounded by David S. Terry, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, in a duel in San Francisco on 09/13/1859 and died on 09/16/1859. BYRON, William Devereux D MD 01/03/1939-02/27/1941 House Died in an airplane crash in Jonesboro, GA on 02/27/1941. CRS-2 Member CHAPMAN, Virgil Mundy CHICKERING, Charles Addison Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber D KY 03/04/1925-03/03/1929 03/04/1931-01/03/1949 01/03/1949-03/08/1951 House Senate Cause of Death and Date of Death Died from injuries received in an automobile accident in Bethesda, MD on 03/08/1951. R NY 03/04/1893- 02/13/1900 House Died from injuries received in an accidental fall from a window of the Grand Union Hotel in New York City on 02/13/1900. Db ME 03/04/1837-02/24/1838 House Killed in a duel on the Marlboro Pike, near Washington, DC by William J. Graves, a Representative from Kentucky on 02/24/1838. CLARKE, John Davenport R NY 03/04/1921-03/03/1925 03/04/1927-11/05/1933 House Died as a result of an automobile collision near Delhi, NY on 11/05/1933. COFFEY, Robert Lewis, Jr. D PA 01/03/1949-04/20/1949 House Died in an airplane accident in Albuquerque, NM on 04/20/1949. COLLINS, George W. D IL 11/03/1970-12/08/1972 House Died in an airplane crash in Chicago, IL on 12/08/1972. CUTTING, Bronson Murray R NM 12/29/1927-12/06/1928 03/04/1929-05/06/1935 Senate Died in an airplane crash near Atlanta, MO on 05/06/1935. DITTER, John William R PA 03/04/1933-11/21/1943 House Died in an airplane crash near Columbia, PA on 11/21/1943. EAST, John P. R NC 01/03/1981-06/29/1986 Senate Committed suicide in Greenville, NC on 06/29/1986. ELLIOTT, Douglas R PA 04/26/1960-06/19/1960 House Committed suicide in Horse Valley, PA on 06/19/1960. CILLEY, Johnathan CRS-3 Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber ERVIN, Joseph W. D NC 01/03/1945-12/25/1945 House Committed suicide in Washington, DC on 12/25/1945. FOLGER, Alonzo Dillard D NC 01/03/1939-04/30/1941 House Died in an automobile accident in Mount Airy, NC on 04/30/1941. GANLY, James Vincent D NY 03/04/1919-03/03/1921 03/04/1923-09/07/1923 House Died in an automobile accident in New York City on 09/07/1923. HAMILTON, Cornelius Springer R OH 03/04/1867-12/22/1867 House Killed by an insane son in Marysville, OH on 12/22/1867. HEINKE, George Henry R NE 01/03/1939-01/02/1940 House Died as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident near Morrilton, AR while en route to Washington DC to attend the opening of the 3rd session of the 76th Congress on 01/02/1940. HEINZ, H. John III R PA 11/02/1971-01/03/1977 01/03/1977-04/04/1991 House Senate Died in a mid-air collision between his charter plane and a helicopter over a suburban Philadelphia schoolyard on 04/04/1991. HINDS, James R AR 06/22/1868-10/22/1868 House Assassinated near Indian Bays, AR on 10/22/1868. HUNT, Lester C. D WY 01/03/1949-06/19/1954 Senate Committed suicide in Washington, DC on 06/19/1954. HUSTING, Paul Oscar D WI 03/04/1915-10/21/1917 Senate Died accidentally while duck hunting on Rush Lake, near Picketts, WI on 10/21/1917. JOHNSTON, Charles Clement Dc VA 03/04/1831-06/17/1832 House Drowned near one of the docks in Alexandria, VA on 06/17/1832. Member Cause of Death and Date of Death CRS-4 Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber JOHNSTON, Josiah Stoddard D LA 03/04/1821-03/03/1823 01/15/1824-05/19/1833 House Senate Killed by an explosion on the steamboat Lioness on the Red River in Louisiana on 05/19/1833. KAYNOR, William Kirk R MA 03/04/1929-12/20/1929 House Died in an airplane accident near Washington, DC on 12/20/1929. KENDALL, Samuel A. R PA 03/04/1919-01/08/1933 House Committed suicide in his office in the House Office Building on 01/08/1933 KENNEDY, Robert F. D NY 03/03/1965-06/06/1968 Senate Assassinated in Los Angeles, CA on 06/06/1968. KINNARD, George L. D IN 03/04/1833-11/26/1836 House Died from injuries received in an explosion on the steamer Flora on the Ohio River on 11/26/1836. LANE, James H. D R IN KS 03/04/1853-03/03/1855 04/04/1861-07/11/1866 House Senate Committed suicide near Ft. Leavenworth, KS on 07/11/1866. LANHAM, Henderson Lovelace D GA 01/03/1947-11/10/1957 House Killed when his automobile collided with a train at a crossing in Rome, GA on 11/10/1957. LELAND, George T. (Mickey) D TX 01/03/1979-08/07/1989 House Died in a plane crash on 08/07/1989 in Ethiopia while on a fact-finding tour to study hunger among refugees. LITTON, Jerry D MO 03/03/1973-08/03/1976 House Died in a plane crash en route to Kansas City, MO on 08/03/1976, on the night of his victory in the 1976 state Democratic primary. Member Cause of Death and Date of Death CRS-5 Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber LONG, Huey Pierce D LA 01/25/1932-09/10/1935 Senate Assassinated in the State Capitol Building, Baton Rouge, LA on 09/08/1935; died on 09/10/1935. LUNDEEN, Ernest Rd MN 03/04/1917-03/03/1919 03/04/1933-01/03/1937 01/03/1937-08/31/1940 House Died in an airplane crash near Lovettsville, VA on 08/31/1940. Senate Member Cause of Death and Date of Death McCORMICK, Joseph Medill R IL 03/04/1917-03/03/1919 03/04/1919-02/25/1925 House Senate Committed suicide in Washington, DC on 02/25/1925e McDONALD, Larry D GA 01/03/1975-09/01/1983 House Died in crash of Korean Airlines flight shot down by a Russian fighter plane on 09/01/1983. MILLER, Clement Woodnutt D CA 01/03/1959-10/07/1962 House Died in an airplane crash near Eureka, CA on 10/07/1962. MILLS, William R MD 05/27/1971-05/24/1973 House Committed suicide near Easton, MD on 05/24/1973. MONTGOMERY, John Gallagher D PA 03/04/1857-04/24/1857 House Died on 04/24/1857, presumably from the effects of food poisoning contracted while staying at the National Hotel in Washington, DC. MURPHY, Richard Louis D IA 03/04/1933-07/16/1936 Senate Died in an automobile accident near Chippewa Falls, WI on 07/16/1936. PETTIS, Jerry L. R CA 01/03/1967-02/14/1975 House Died in a plane crash in San Bernadino, CA on 02/14/1975. CRS-6 Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber PETTIS, Spencer Darwin D MO 03/04/1829-08/28/1831 House During the campaign of 1830, his opinions on the U.S. Bank issue precipitated a quarrel and subsequently a duel with Major Thomas Biddle, and both fell mortally wounded on 08/28/1831. PINCKNEY, John McPherson D TX 11/17/1903-04/24/1905 House Assaulted and killed at Hempstead, TX on 04/24/1905. QUITMAN, John Anthony D MS 03/04/1855-07/17/1858 House Died on 07/17/1858, presumably from the effects of food poisoning contracted in 1857 while staying at the National Hotel in Washington, DC. RYAN, Leo J. D CA 01/03/1973-11/18/1978 House Died from gunshot wounds received while visiting an American religious commune in Guyana, South America on 11/18/1978. SCHALL, Thomas David R MN 03/04/1915-03/03/1925 03/04/1925-12/22/1935 House Senate Died after being struck by an automobile in Washington, DC on 12/22/1935. SMITH, Larkin R MS 01/03/1989-08/13/1989 House Died in a plane crash in the DeSoto National Forest, MS on 08/13/1989. STERLING, John Allen R IL 03/04/1903-03/03/1913 03/04/1915-10/17/1918 House Died as a result of an automobile accident near Pontiac, IL on 10/17/1918. SULLIVAN, Timothy Daniel D NY 03/04/1903-07/27/1906 03/04/1913-08/31/1913 House Killed by a locomotive near Pelham Parkway, NY on 08/31/1913. THOMPSON, Theo Ashton D LA 01/03/1953-07/01/1965 House Died in an automobile accident in Gastonia, NC on 07/01/1965. WEDEMEYER, William Walter R MI 03/04/1911-01/02/1913 House Accidentally drowned in the harbor of Colon, Panama on 01/02/1913. Member Cause of Death and Date of Death CRS-7 Party State Dates of Servicea Chamber WICKLIFFE, Robert Charles D LA 03/04/1909-06/11/1912 House Killed by a train while walking on a railroad track in Washington, DC on 06/11/1912. ZIONCHECK, Marion D WA 03/04/1933-08/07/1936 House Jumped from an office building in Seattle, WA on 08/07/1936. Member Cause of Death and Date of Death Sources: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Ann Arbor, MI; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1998; various editions of Weekly Reports, published by Congressional Quarterly, Inc.; and various newspaper articles. a. Note that the date of the Member's death is the same as the last date of his service. b. Rep. Cilley was a Jacksonian Democrat. c. Rep. Johnston was a States Rights Democrat. d. Rep., later Sen. Lundeen, was a member of the Farmer Labor Party when elected to the House in 1933 and the Senate in 1937. e. Sen. McCormick's death was initially not ruled a suicide. See Kristie Miller, Ruth Hanna McCormick, A Life in Politics 1880-1944 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992), p. 151.