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Rhodes, John J(acob II) 1916-2003

RHODES, John J(acob II) 1916-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born September 18, 1916, in Council Grove, KS; died of cancer August 24, 2003, in Mesa, AZ. Politician, attorney, and author. Rhodes, an Arizona Republican, served for several years as the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and was one of the officials who convinced President Richard Nixon that he would have to resign office to avoid impeachment. He was educated at Kansas State University, where he received his B.S. in 1938 before earning his law degree from Harvard University in 1941. During World War II he was an officer stationed in Arizona, after which he was a partner in the law firm of Rhodes, Killian & Legg in Mesa, where he also was vice president of Farm and Home Life Insurance. Becoming active in politics, he ran for office in 1952 and became the first Republican candidate from Arizona to win a place in the House of Representatives. Rhodes successfully remained in office for the next fifteen terms. While in office, he served as minority leader from 1973 to 1981 and chaired the platform committee at the 1972 Republican National Convention that saw the reelection of Nixon; he also served as chair in 1976 and 1980. Rhodes was a conservative who favored reducing government regulations and increasing budgetary fiscal responsibility; he was an admirer of Nixon, and would later say that approaching the disgraced president to tell him that he should resign was the most difficult thing he ever did while in government. After retiring from office, Rhodes worked as an attorney for Hunton & Williams until 1997, and he also served as a member of the board of overseers at the Hoover Institution from 1984 to 1992. A recipient of the Congressional Distinguished Service Award in 2002, Rhodes was the author of The Futile System: How to Unchain Congress and Make the System Work Again (1976) and John Rhodes: I Was There (1995).



Chicago Tribune, August 27, 2003, section 1, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2003, p. B11.

New York Times, August 26, 2003, p. A21.

Times (London, England), August 28, 2003.

Washington Post, August 26, 2003, p. B4.

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