Rostenkowski, Dan

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Dan Rostenkowski (Daniel David Rostenkowski) (rŏs´tənkou´skē), 1928–2010, U.S. congressman, b. Chicago, grad. Loyola Univ. (1951). A Democrat, he was first elected as a U.S. representative from Illinois in 1958 and served 18 terms. Rostenkowski became chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 1981. Once one of the country's most influential congressmen, he helped secure (1983) legislation to keep the social security system solvent and played a major role in the passage (1986) of a new federal tax code. In 1994, Rostenkowski was indicted on corruption charges and stepped down as Ways and Means chairman; he lost his House seat in congressional elections later that year. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1996, and was fined and served (1996–97) a 17-month sentence. He subsequently worked as a political consultant, commentator, and college teacher. Rostenkowski was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.

See biography by R. E. Cohen (1999); J. L. Merriner, Mr. Chairman: Power in Dan Rostenkowski's America (1999).