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Political Dynamos: Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2010

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) was first elected to the Senate in 1959 and was the longest serving member in the Senate's history. (Getty Images)

In the waning days of the 111th Congress, Democrats and Republicans worked together (yes, you heard me) to pass some far-reaching legislation, including an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits, a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and ratification of the New Start Treaty.

All this activity, of course, came in the wake of a huge electoral victory in the House for the GOP -- the largest for any party since 1948 -- which means that a tremendous number of of incumbents, mostly Democratic, will not be returning to Congress in 2011.

But this time of year -- as it always is in the Political Junkie -- is reserved not for partisanship or showmanship or a declaration of winners and losers, but for a pause to remember those who passed on in 2010.

It was, sadly, a pretty sizable list.  The longest serving senator in history, followed shortly thereafter by the longest serving Republican senator in history.  Powerful House committee chairmen.  A secretary of state who said he was "in control" at a particularly frightening moment.  A presidential speechwriter whose words live on to this day.  A presidential press secretary who walked away out of principle.  A founding father of the Libertarian Party.  A woman who late in her life walked across the country to make a point about money in politics.  A wife of a presidential candidate.  The mother of the vice president.  A brother and uncle of presidents.  And a legendary journalist whose presence in the halls of NPR is truly missed.

Presented here is a chronological list of those who died last year. It doesn't claim to be complete, but it includes many of those who made our lives more interesting and the world a better place.

Smith Bagley, 74, an heir to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco fortune and longtime Democratic Party fundraiser.  He twice sought a seat in Congress from North Carolina, losing a Democratic primary to Nick Galifianakis in 1966 and the general election to Republican Wilmer (Vinegar Bend) Mizell in 1968. (Jan. 2)

Royal Hart, 83, who as a Democratic state senator from Maryland in the mid-1960s sponsored the bill that ended the state's 306 year ban on interracial marriage.  In 1970 he was his party's unsuccessful nominee for Congress in the 5th CD against GOP incumbent Larry Hogan. (Jan. 2)

Catherine Biden, 92, the mother of Vice President Joe Biden. (Jan. 8)

Robert Mosbacher, 82, a longtime Texas oilman and Republican fundraiser who served as secretary of commerce under the first President Bush. (Jan. 24)

Charles "Mac" Mathias, 87, the last Republican elected to the Senate from Maryland and who, during the course of his four terms in the House (1961-68) and three in the Senate (1969-86), moved considerably to the left.  By the time he retired, after 1986, he was considered the most liberal Republican in Congress.  In 1960, Mathias ousted Rep. John Foley (D) in Maryland's 6th CD.  Four years later, he played a major role in drafting the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  In 1968, he unseated Democratic Sen. Dan Brewster, and then won subsequent landslides over Barbara Mikulski in 1974 and Ed Conroy in 1980.  Mikulski won the 1986 election to succeed him. (Jan. 25)

Frank Fasi, 89, who served as mayor of Honolulu for 22 years, first as a Democrat and later as a Republican, who also made numerous bids for senator and governor. (Feb. 3)

Cecil Heftel, 85, a Hawaii Democrat who served in the House from 1977, when he succeeded Senate candidate Spark Matsunaga, until July 1986, when he resigned to run for governor.  Heftel lost the Democratic primary that year to John Waihee, who went on to become governor. (Feb. 4)

John Murtha, 77, a Pennsylvania Democrat whose election to Congress in a special February 1974 election sent a signal that the Republican Party could pay the price for the Watergate scandal, and whose 36 years in the House made him one of the chamber's most powerful members.  A decorated Vietnam War veteran, Murtha lost badly to Rep. John Saylor (R) in 1968, but when Saylor died, Murtha jumped into the special election to succeed him in '74 and won it -- becoming the first Vietnam combat vet elected to Congress.  His ethics were always under the microscope, starting with the Abscam scandal in 1980, when he was shown on videotape turning down money from an FBI agent disguised as a Mideast sheik -- but saying that he might be willing to talk about money later.  He was also investigated for his role of receiving campaign contributions -- a lot of them -- from those who did business before his Appropriations subcommittee.  Long an influential, powerful, and widely feared member, Murtha drew national attention when he publicly broke with the Bush administration and spoke out against the Iraq war in November 2005.  A longtime key ally of Nancy Pelosi who helped her rise to House Speaker after the 2006 elections, he was her choice to run for majority leader, but he lost that contest to Maryland's Steny Hoyer. (Feb. 8)

Francine Neff, 84, a veteran Republican activist who was the U.S. treasurer, appointed by President Nixon, from 1974-77. (Feb. 9)

Charlie Wilson, 76, a larger-than-life 12-term Democratic congressman from Texas (1973-76) who as a member of the House Appropriations Cmte played a major role in financing and arming Afghan insurgents against Soviet occupiers and whose escapades -- regarding Afghanistan and his love for women -- were made into a book and later, in 2007, a movie, "Charlie Wilson's War," starring Tom Hanks as the Texas congressman. (Feb. 10)

Alexander Haig, 85, the White House chief of staff during the waning days of Richard Nixon's presidency who is best known for saying, while serving years later as President Reagan's secretary of state, "I am in control here," moments after Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt in March 1981.  Haig had received widespread credit for trying to steady the government as Nixon's grasp was disintegrating in 1974.  But the response to his role in the Reagan administration was completely different.  By the time he was forced out of the Cabinet, in June 1982, he had alienated many in the administration, including Reagan himself.  In between the two administrations he served as supreme allied commander in Europe.  In 1988, he sought the Republican nomination for president but was out of the race before the New Hampshire primary. (Feb. 20)

James Wieghart, 76, a former editor at the New York Daily News, where he covered the Nixon, Ford and Carter presidencies.  Prior to his NYC journalism career, he worked for the Milwaukee Journal and served as press secretary for Sen. William Proxmire (D). (Feb. 21)

Roy Elson, 79, a longtime aide to longtime Arizona Sen. Carl Hayden (D), who made two bids for the Senate himself, losing in 1964 to Paul Fannin and again four years later to Barry Goldwater, in the battle to succeed the retiring Hayden. (Feb. 25)

Doris "Granny D" Haddock, 100, who walked cross-country in 2000 at the age of 89 to promote a change to the campaign finance system and who mounted a quixotic campaign for the Senate as a Democrat from New Hampshire in 2004, losing by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to incumbent Republican Judd Gregg.  Her 3,200 walk began in Pasadena, Calif. and ended in D.C. 14 months later. (March 10)

Arthur Christy, 86, who as a special prosecutor under a new ethics law pursued allegations against Hamilton Jordan, President Carter's chief of staff, that he used cocaine at a New York night club.  Jordan was eventually cleared. (March 12)

Edmund Dinis, 85, whose handling (or mishandling) of the case against Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) in the wake of the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident -- in which a passenger in Kennedy's car, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned -- cost him his job as district attorney in the next election. (March 14)

Stewart Udall, 90, who gave up his Arizona congressional seat after the 1960 election to become President Kennedy's first secretary of the interior, and whose strong work on conservation and environmental issues continued into the Johnson administration.  His House seat was won by his brother, Mo, in a 1961 special election.  His son, Tom, is a Democratic senator from New Mexico. (March 20)

Liz Carpenter, 89, press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson during LBJ's presidency and a founding member of the National Women's Political Caucus. (March 20)

Midge Costanza, 77, who while vice mayor of Rochester, N.Y., became an early and influential supporter of Jimmy Carter's bid for the presidency, and who, after joining his administration, began criticizing him in public, a tactic that led to her decision to resign under pressure.  In 1974, prior to her involvement with Carter, she was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee against Rep. Barber Conable (R). (March 23)

Stanford Parris, 80, a Virginia Republican who was elected to the first of his six terms in Congress in 1972, replacing Senate nominee Bill Scott.  Two years later, with the Watergate scandal killing the GOP nationwide, he lost to Democrat Herb Harris.  In 1980, running on Ronald Reagan's coattails, he narrowly got his revenge against Harris, winning by just over 1,000 votes.  His re-election margins increasing, he decided to run for governor in 1985 and 1989 but lost the nomination both times.  In 1990, he lost his House seat, to Democrat Jim Moran, who still serves. (March 27)

Jerry terHorst, 87, who gave up his job as Washington bureau chief of the Detroit News to become President Ford's press secretary in August 1974 but who resigned less than a month later in protest of Ford's pardon of former President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. (March 31)

Thomas Moyer, 70, the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and the longest serving sitting state supreme court chief justice in the nation. (April 2)

Clifford Hardin, 94, President Nixon's first secretary of agriculture. (April 4)

Robert Franks, 58, a former chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party and four-term House member who gave up his seat in 2000 for a close, but losing, bid for a Senate seat won by Democrat Jon Corzine, and who also sought his party's gubernatorial nomination in the 2001 primary. (April 9)

Benjamin Hooks, 85, who succeeded Roy Wilkins as head of the NAACP in 1977 and stayed at the helm of the civil rights organization for 15 years.  In 1972, President Nixon appointed him to the Federal Communications Commission, the first African American to serve on that panel. (April 15)

Daryl Gates, 83, the chief of police in Los Angeles for 14 years until he was forced to resign in June 1992, after the outbreak of riots following the acquittal of four white police officers for the beating of Rodney King after a high-speed car chase, a beating that was videotaped by a bystander and broadcast worldwide. (April 16)

Dorothy Height, 98, a leading figure in civil rights and women's movements, with a career that started with anti-lynching protests in the South in the 1930s. (April 20)

Walter Murphy, 80, a political scientist and constitutional scholar at Princeton University until his retirement in 1995. (April 20)

Willard Wirtz, 98, who was secretary of labor under President Kennedy, replacing Arthur Goldberg, who was named to the Supreme Court.  He stayed in his post under President Johnson.  He was considered a possible pick for VP in 1968. (April 24)

Walter Hickel, 90, who was elected governor of Alaska in 1966 as a Republican and again, in 1990, as a candidate of the Alaskan Independence Party, and whose tenure as President Nixon's first secretary of the interior ended with his firing in 1970 after he criticized Nixon's Vietnam war policy.  He also sought the GOP gubernatorial nomination, unsuccessfully, in 1974, 1978 and 1986. (May 7)

Ike Andrews, 84, a North Carolina Democrat who served six terms in the House and best known for his work on behalf of the elderly.  In 1972 he narrowly won the seat vacated by Rep. Nick Galifianakis, a Democrat who was running for the Senate, and served until 1984, when he was defeated by Republican Bill Cobey. (May 10)

Donald "Buz" Lukens, 79, a once-rising star in the Republican Party whose second tenure in the House ended in disgrace.  Lukens, a strong conservative, was elected president of the national Young Republicans in 1963.  In 1966, running on a pro-Vietnam war platform, he was elected to Congress from Ohio, a post he gave up in 1970 for an unsuccessful run for governor in the GOP primary.  Earlier, in 1968, he was the first House member to endorse Ronald Reagan for president.  He then spent 15 years in the Ohio state Senate.  In 1986, when Rep. Tom Kindness (R) gave up his 8th CD seat to run for the Senate, Lukens returned to Congress.  But in May 1989 he was convicted of paying an underage girl to have sex with him.  He nevertheless insisted on running for re-election, but got clobbered in the 1990 primary by state Rep. John Boehner, who will become the Speaker of the House in 2011.  Lukens ultimately was forced to resign his seat later in the year after being accused of propositioning a House elevator operator.  In 1996, he was convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to federal prison. (May 22)

Gary Coleman, 42, the diminutive TV actor and star of the "Diff'rent Strokes" show, who makes it to this list only because he was somehow among the 135 candidates on the California ballot in 2003 to recall Gov. Gray Davis.  He finished in 8th place, just after Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. (May 28)

Arthur Link, 96, a former two-term Democratic governor of North Dakota.  Link, a longtime member of the state legislature, won election to the House in 1970, after the GOP incumbent, Tom Kleppe, left to run for the Senate.  With the state losing one of its two House seats in 1972, Link was all but out of a job until Gov. William Guy (D) announced his retirement.  Link ran for that job and won, and was re-elected in '76.  But he was defeated in a bid for a third term in 1980, losing to Republican Allen Olson. (June 1)

William Murphy, 65, who served as the Staten Island (N.Y.) district attorney for a record 20 years until his retirement in 2003.  A Democrat in a Republican-leaning borough, one of his victories came against Borough President (and former congressman) Guy Molinari in 1995. (June 4)

Robert Healy, 84, a political journalist with the Boston Globe who broke the story in 1962 that Ted Kennedy, then a first-time candidate for the Senate, had been expelled from Harvard for cheating.  Healy was also a familiar presence in New Hampshire during that state's first-in-the-nation presidential primaries. (June 5)

Frank Evans, 86, a Colorado Democrat who served in the House for 14 years until his retirement in 1978.  He first came to Congress during the 1964 LBJ landslide, when he knocked off GOP Rep. J. Edgar Chenoweth. (June 8)

Thomas "Lud" Ashley, 87, a former Democratic congressman from Ohio who during his 13 terms (1955-80) fought for public housing.  In 1954, Ashley unseated Rep. Frazier Reams, the House's only independent, and served until 1980, when he was defeated by Ed Weber (R) in the Reagan landslide. (June 15)

Prescott Bush Jr., 87, brother of former President George Bush and uncle of George W. Bush, who made a brief challenge against liberal GOP Sen. Lowell Weicker of Connecticut in 1982 until he dropped out before the primary. (June 23)

Walter Shorenstein, 95, a real estate magnate and financial benefactor to the Democratic Party who advised Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. (June 24)

Elise Boulding, 89, a peace activist going back to the 1940s who made a run for Congress from Michigan in 1966 highlighting her opposition to the war in Vietnam. (June 24)

Dolph Briscoe, 87, a conservative Democrat who served as governor of Texas in the 1970s during the state's oil and gas boom years.  A fourth-place finisher in the 1968 Democratic gov primary, Briscoe returned in 1972 -- back when the term was still two years -- and won the nomination in a runoff over Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, and then the general in a close election over Hank Grover (R).  He easily won a second term in 1974.  But in '78, when the term was increased to four years, he lost the Dem primary in a surprise to state Attorney General John Hill.  Hill, in turn, lost to William Clements, who became the state's first GOP governor since Reconstruction. (June 27)

Robert Byrd, 92, whose 51 years in the Senate made him the longest serving senator (and, when you add six years in the House, the longest serving member of Congress as well) in history.  A fierce protector of the Senate, Byrd had served in the upper chamber from 1958, winning nine times.  Prior to that, Byrd was elected to the House as a Democrat from West Virginia in 1952.  Six years later he knocked off GOP Sen. Chapman Revercomb.  Long a supporter of racial segregation -- in the 1940s he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, he filibustered the Senate for 14 hours during the 1964 debate on the Civil Rights Act, and he opposed Thurgood Marshall's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1967 -- Byrd softened his views on race as he attempted to become a national Democrat.  In 1971, he defeated Edward Kennedy to become Democratic Whip.  In 1976, he made a brief bid for his party's presidential nomination.  The next year, following Sen. Mike Mansfield's (D-Mont.) retirement, Byrd became majority leader.  He was a tireless promoter of his home state, and as chairman of the Appropriations Cmte he was responsible for billions of dollars sent to West Virginia; his opponents labeled him the "king of pork."  But he was untouchable at home. (June 28)

Marc Trager, 64, who until recently had been seeking the GOP nomination for Congress in Wisconsin's 8th CD. (June 29)

Juanita Kreps, 89, President Carter's first secretary of commerce and the first woman to head the department. (July 5)

Emilio "Mim" Daddario, 91, a Connecticut Democrat who unseated Rep. Edwin May Jr. (R) in 1958 and served until 1970, when he ran for governor but lost the general election to Tom Meskill (R).  During his 12 years in the House, he focused on science research and development. (July 6)

Kenny Guinn, 73, a former two-term Republican governor of Nevada (1999-2006) whose pushing for the largest tax increase in state history in 2003 was widely denounced at the time but which ultimately was credited for turning the state economy around -- a bit of prosperity that ended under his successor, Jim Gibbons. (July 22)

Daniel Schorr, 93, who as an award-winning reporter with CBS News was named to President Nixon's infamous "Enemies List" for his criticism of the administration and who for the past quarter-century was a news analyst with NPR. (July 23)

Lolita Lebron, 90, the Puerto Rican nationalist/terrorist (take your pick) who was among those who stormed the House of Representatives and fired their guns on March 1, 1954.  Five congressmen were injured, and Lebron was imprisoned for 25 years until her release, courtesy of President Carter, in 1979. (Aug. 1)

Mike Monroney, 83, the son of the late Sen. A.S. "Mike" Monroney (D-Okla.) who made a bid for political office of his own, losing a Democratic primary for a House seat in Maryland in 1966. (Aug. 3)

Ted Stevens, 86, who from his appointment to a vacant Senate seat in Alaska in 1968 to his defeat in 2008 made him the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history.  A founder of the modern-day GOP in Alaska, Stevens lost badly in his 1962 bid for the Senate, losing to Democratic incumbent Ernest Gruening.  Six years later, following the death of Sen. E. L. Bartlett (D), Gov. Walter Hickel appointed Stevens to fill the vacancy.  He then won seven elections, usually with more than 70 percent of the vote.  But he got into trouble in 2008, convicted of seven felonies for failing to disclose personal gifts.  Days later, he was narrowly defeated by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, the first Alaska Democrat to win a Senate seat since 1974.  (Stevens' conviction was thrown out months later because of allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.)  As chairman of the Appropriations Cmte, the often cantankerous and ornery Stevens helped bring billions of federal dollars to Alaska. (Aug. 9)

Dan Rostenkowski, 82, the longtime Democratic congressman from Chicago whose rise as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Cmte ended in 1994, when he was indicted on corruption charges relating to the House post office scandal, forced to give up his chairmanship, and lost his bid for re-election to Republican Michael Patrick Flanagan.  He later went to prison for 15 months.  Rostenkowski, an ally of the first Mayor Richard Daley, was first elected to Congress in 1958 at the age of 30.  He played a major role in implementing tax policy and in the rewriting of the federal tax code. (Aug. 11)

Edwin Newman, 91, the longtime NBC News broadcaster who moderated presidential debates between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale in 1984. (Aug. 13)

Sherman Tribbitt, 87, a Delaware Democrat who, as lt. gov., unseated GOP Gov. Russ Peterson in 1972 but then lost his re-election bid four years later to Pete du Pont (R).  His one term as governor was highlighted by a state bank crisis. (Aug. 14)

Denis Dillon, 76, the longtime district attorney of Nassau County, on New York's Long Island.  Elected first as a Democrat in 1974, he switched to the GOP in 1989 because of his opposition to abortion.  In 1986 he ran for governor as the nominee of the Right to Life Party.  In 2005, he was narrowly defeated as D.A. by Kathleen Rice (D). (Aug. 15)

James Jackson Kilpatrick, 89, a conservative whose early journalism career at the Richmond News-Leader was built on support for segregation but who later broke from his old racial views and became famous for his "point/counterpoint" debates with fellow journalists (the liberals Nicholas von Hoffman and later Shana Alexander).  His battles with Alexander were later spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" with Dan Aykroyd and "Jane, You Ignorant Slut" Curtin. (Aug. 15)

Mario Obledo, 78, a lifelong fighter for Latino causes who, as Gov. Jerry Brown's secretary of health and welfare, made a brief bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of California in 1982. (Aug. 18)

Harold Dow, 62, an award-winning reporter for CBS News. (Aug. 21)

Robert Ingersoll, 96, President Nixon's ambassador to Japan. (Aug. 22)

William Saxbe, 94, a one-term Republican senator from Ohio who in 1974 became President Nixon's fourth attorney general, at a time the administration was engulfed in the Watergate scandal.  As state attorney general in 1968, Saxbe won the Senate seat long held by Frank Lausche, who was defeated in that year's Democratic primary by John Gilligan.  Nixon's first two AGs, John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst, were implicated in Watergate-related crimes, and the third, Eliot Richardson, resigned in the wake of the Saturday Night Massacre, where special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was fired.  The outspoken Saxbe stayed on as AG under President Ford until February 1975, when he resigned to become Ford's ambassador to India. (Aug. 24)

Paul Conrad, 96, the former political cartoonist and thorn in the sides of many presidents, especially Johnson and Nixon -- he made Nixon's famed "Enemies List" -- and who won three Pulitzers for his editorial cartoons that ran in the Los Angeles Times. (Sept. 4)

Ron Walters, 72, a preeminent scholar on race and the politics of race who played a leading role in the creation of the Congressional Black Caucus in the early 1970s and was a deputy campaign manager for Jesse Jackson's 1984 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Sept. 10)

Natasha Pettigrew, 30, the 2010 Green Party candidate for the Senate in Maryland. (Sept. 20)

Joseph Sobran, 64, a conservative and protege of National Review publisher William F. Buckley whose increasingly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish writings forced him out of the magazine in 1993. (Sept. 30)

Joe Shumate, 69, a Republican consultant from California who was a senior adviser to 2010 GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina. (Oct. 1)

Karen McCarthy, 63, a Missouri Democrat who won the Kansas City-based House seat vacated in 1994 by Senate nominee Alan Wheat and served five terms before retiring in 2004. (Oct. 5)

William Harsha, 89, an Ohio Republican who served 10 terms in the House (1961-80), where he rose to become the ranking member of the Public Works Cmte and focused on his district's infrastructure problems.  The Democrat he defeated in his final two campaigns, in 1976 and 1978, was Ted Strickland, who later went on to serve as congressman and governor. (Oct. 12)

Mildred Jefferson, 84, a surgeon and anti-abortion activist who made three unsuccessful bids for the Republican Senate nomination from Massachusetts in 1982, 1984 and 1990.  She was also the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. (Oct. 15)

Cary Edwards, 66, a former state assemblyman and later the (appointed) New Jersey state attorney general who resigned in 1989 to seek, unsuccessfully, the Republican nomination for governor; he lost the primary that year to then-Rep. Jim Courter.  Four years later he tried again, and again lost the primary, this time to Christie Whitman. (Oct. 20)

James Neal, 81, a special prosecutor during Watergate who helped seal the convictions of Attorney General John Mitchell and two top Nixon aides, John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman.  He also sent Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa to prison in 1964 and won an acquittal for then-Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in 1985. (Oct. 21)

Burton Roberts, 88, a former Bronx (N.Y.) district attorney and later the chief administrative judge of the State Supreme Court in the Bronx who became the model in Tom Wolfe's 1987 "Bonfire of the Vanities" novel. (Oct. 24)

Owen Pickett, 80, a former seven-term Democratic congressman from Virginia (1987-2000) who made an abortive bid for the Senate in 1982, only to back away following a threat of a third-party challenge by then-state Sen. Douglas Wilder, a fellow Democrat.  A former state party chairman, Pickett won the open House seat being vacated by William Whitehurst (R) in 1986 and held the seat until his retirement in 2000.  While in office he was a strong supporter of his district's naval and shipbuilding industries. (Oct. 27)

Theodore Sorensen, 82, the longtime strategist, counsel and speechwriter for John F. Kennedy -- his work on "Profiles In Courage" earned JFK a Pulitzer Prize in 1956 and his "ask not what your country can do for you" remains as one of the most famous lines ever uttered by a president -- who also unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the Senate from New York in 1970.  He was briefly President Carter's choice for CIA director in 1976 before the nomination was withdrawn. (Oct. 31)

Charles McDowell, 84, a longtime columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch who was best known for his stint as a regular on PBS' "Washington Week in Review" from 1978-96. (Nov. 5)

Robert Lipshutz, 88, the White House counsel under President Carter. (Nov. 6)

Burton Hoffman, 81, a longtime D.C. journalist who became the press secretary to Sargent Shriver, the 1972 Democratic vice presidential nominee, and who later served as an adviser to then-House Majority Whip John Brademas (D-Ind.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). (Nov. 17)

David Nolan, 66, one of the founders of the Libertarian Party (1971) who was also his party's nominee for the Senate in Arizona this year. (Nov. 21)

Stephen Solarz, 70, a nine-term Democratic congressman from New York whose House career ended when his Brooklyn-based district was completely redrawn in the 1992 reapportionment.  He got caught up (though never charged) in the House banking scandal, and he lost the primary in the now-majority Latino district to Nydia Velazquez.  In 1974, a year after a strong but unsuccessful bid to become Brooklyn borough president, Solarz took on the ethically-challenged Rep. Bert Podell and beat him in the Democratic primary.  As a key member of the Foreign Affairs Cmte, Solarz became a worldwide traveler, and in the process was a leading supporter of Israel and critic of South Africa's apartheid.  A strong advocate for democracy in the Philippines, it was Solarz who revealed the existence of the 3,000 pairs of shoes owned by then-First Lady Imelda Marcos. (Nov. 29)

James Lynn, 83, the housing and urban development secretary under President Nixon and budget director under President Ford in the 1970s. (Dec. 6)

Elizabeth Edwards, 61, who played a prominent role in the political career of her husband, former N.C. senator, 2004 VP nominee and two-time Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, and whose long battle with cancer -- and the tawdry news about her unfaithful husband -- won her widespread admiration and sympathy. (Dec. 7)

Samuel King, 94, a federal judge from Hawaii who was the Republican nominee for governor in 1970 but lost to incumbent Democrat John Burns. (Dec. 7)

Richard Holbrooke, 69, the diplomat and foreign policy adviser to Democratic presidents who played a major role in ending the war in Bosnia in the mid 1990s and who at his death was trying to attain peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Dec. 13)

James Mann, 90, a former Democratic member of Congress from South Carolina best remembered for his role in the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, during the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.  First elected to the House in 1968, Mann served until his retirement a decade later. (Dec. 20)

This year's final edition of the "It's All Politics" podcast was devoted to a political farewell for many of the people listed above.  It can be heard here:

If there are any names I forgot, please drop me a line at politicaljunkie@npr.org.

Have a wonderful, and safe, New Year's!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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