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Background: US Politicians Killed In Plane Crashes

[From the 'Political Graveyard,' which also has links to details on each of the cases as well as others going back to World War I]

Rep. Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr. (1914-1972) Democrat. Disappeared while on a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, October 16, 1972, and presumed dead in a plane crash; no bodies were found.

Rep. Nicholas Joseph Begich (1932-1972) of Anchorage, Alaska. Democrat. Disappeared while on a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, October 16, 1972, and presumed dead in a plane crash; no bodies were found.

Rep. George Washington Collins (1925-1972) Democrat. Husband of Cardiss Collins. Died in an airplane crash during landing approach at Midway Airport, Chicago, Cook County, Ill., December 8, 1972.

Rep. Jerry Lyle Pettis (1916-1975) Republican. Died in a plane crash near Banning, Riverside County, Calif., February 14, 1975.

Rep. Jerry Lon Litton (1937-1976) Democrat. While running for U.S. Senator, died in the crash of a private plane, shortly after takeoff from the Municipal Airport Chillicothe, Livingston County, Mo., August 3, 1976.

Rep. Ralph Frederick Beermann (1912-1977) of Dakota City, Dakota County, Neb. Republican. Died in an airplane crash at the Municipal Airport in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, February 17, 1977.

Senatorial candidate Richard D. Obenshain (1936-1978) of Richmond, Va. Candidate for U.S. Senator from Virginia 1978, but died before election. Killed in a plane crash in August 1978.

Rep. Lawrence Patton McDonald (1935-1983) Democrat. Killed when Korean Airlines jet on which he was a passenger was shot down by the Soviet military, At Sea over the Sea of Japan on September 1, 1983; his remains were never recovered.

Jim Waltermire (1949-1988) Secretary of state of Montana, 1980-88. While returning from a campaign appearance, was killed in a plane crash near Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Mont., April 8, 1988.

Ambassador Arnold Lewis Raphel (1943-1988) U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, 1987-88; died in office 1988. Killed when a plane in which he was a passenger was blown up in midair by terrorists, near Bahawalpur, Pakistan, August 17, 1988.

Rep. George Thomas Leland (1944-1989) -- also known as Mickey Leland -- of Houston, Harris County, Tex. Democrat. Died in an airplane crash near Gambela, Ethiopia, August 7, 1989.

Rep. Larkin I. Smith (1944-1989) Husband of Sheila Smith. U.S. Representative from Mississippi 5th District, 1989. Died in an airplane crash, August 13, 1989. Interment at Floral Hills Cemetery, Gulfport, Miss.

Senator Henry John Heinz III (1938-1991) Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pa. His widow later married John Forbes Kerry. Republican. U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1977-91; died in office 1991. Died in the crash of a small plane at Merion, Montgomery County, Pa., April 4, 1991.

John Goodwin Tower (1925-1991) of Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Tex.; Dallas, Dallas County, Tex. Republican. Nominated for Secretary of Defense in 1989, but defeated amid allegations of heavy drinking and womanizing. Killed in a plane crash near Brunswick, Glynn County, Ga., April 5, 1991.

Gov. George Speaker Mickelson (1941-1993) Son of George Theodore Mickelson. Born January 31, 1941. Republican. Governor of South Dakota, 1987-93. Died in a plane crash, April 19, 1993.

Sec. Ronald Harmon Brown (1941-1996). U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Democrat. Killed in a plane crash, during a storm, in Croatia, April 3, 1996.

State Rep. Cecil Franklin Weeding (1934-1998) Born in Miles City, Custer County, Mont. Killed in a plane crash near Lodge Pole, Blaine County, Mont., April 6, 1998.

Former State Rep. Grover C. Robinson III (c.1944-2000) of Pensacola, Escambia County, Fla. Member of Florida state house of representatives, 1972-84. Died in a helicopter crash at Lake Manapouri, New Zealand, March 28, 2000

Former State Sen. Thomas Allgood, Sr. (c.1929-2000) Born in Augusta, Richmond County, Ga. Lawyer; member of Georgia state senate, 1977-91. Killed in the crash of a single-engine airplane, during takeoff from Daniel Field, Augusta, Richmond County, Ga., August 4, 2000.

Former state rep. Charles B. Yates (c.1939-2000) of Edgewater Park, Burlington County, N.J. Democrat. Member of New Jersey state senate, 1978-82. Killed, along with his family, in the crash of a small plane he was piloting, near Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes County, Mass., October 6, 2000.

Gov. Melvin Eugene Carnahan (1934-2000) -- also known as Mel Carnahan -- of Rolla, Phelps County, Mo. Democrat. Died, in a plane crash while running for U.S. Senator, October 16, 2000. Interment at Carson Hill Cemetery, Near Ellsinore, Carter County, Mo.

Jasper Baxter (c.1956-2001) of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Democrat. Twice a candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Was conducting a seminar on the 93rd floor of 2 World Trade Center, when an airliner hijacked by terrorists was deliberately crashed into the building, causing an explosion, fire, and collapse of the structure, killing thousands, in New York, New York County, N.Y., September 11, 2001


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