Robert Henry “Bob” Michel

Photo added by William Bjornstad

Robert Henry “Bob” Michel

Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, USA
Death 17 Feb 2017 (aged 93)
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Burial Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section B
Memorial ID 176425963 · View Source
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US Congressman. A member of the Republican Party, he served the State of Illinois' 18th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1957 until 1995. He served as the House Minority Whip from 1975 until 1981 and the House Minority Leader from 1981 until 1995. To date, he holds the distinction for serving the longest tenure as House Minority Leader. He served as House Republican Leader from 1981 until 1995. His father immigrated from France and found work in a factory, his mother was of German descent. Michel served as a combat infantryman with the United States Army during World War II and was a participant in the Battle of the Bulge. From this experience, he was wounded during a mission and received a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars and four battle stars. Upon his return home, he enrolled at Bradley University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. He served as an assistant and eventual chief of staff for Congressman Harold H. Velde and went on to succeeded him in Congress at the age of thirty-three. During President Johnson's administration, Michel was an outspoken opponent of the "Great Society" and fought to reduce spending on Welfare programs. However, over time, he became known for his eagerness and friendly demeanor when "reaching across the isle" to work with his Democrat counterparts, of which included House Speaker Thomas 'Tip' O'Neill. This on occasion, drew criticism from his Republican colleagues. During the 1970s, President Nixon appointed Michel to serve as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 1989, President Reagan awarded him the Citizens Medal for his many years in political service. In 1994, he was awarded by President Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Later that year, he chose not to run for reelection and was succeeded by Newt Gingrich as House Republican Leader. He died of complications from pneumonia.

Bio by: C.S.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: C.S.
  • Added: 17 Feb 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 176425963
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Henry “Bob” Michel (2 Mar 1923–17 Feb 2017), Find a Grave Memorial no. 176425963, citing Parkview Cemetery, Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .