John W. McCormack, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Congressional representative of Dorchester, South Boston and Roxbury for 42 years, died Saturday at the age of 88.
Speaker McCormack a resident of Jamaica Plain, had been hospitalized in New England Baptist Hospital since September 9 with low blood pressure and pneumonia and was later transferred to the Eastwood at Dedham Nursing Home where he died.
"McCormack was a colorful figure in Congress for a great many years." Archibald Cox '34, Loeb Professor of Law, said yesterday.
"He was an outstanding man and employment and job opportunities to the district." Louise Day Hicks, former Congresswoman and member of the Boston City Council, said yesterday.
Rising from the Irish section of South Boston, the eighth-grade dropout became speaker of the House in 1962 when Sam Rayburn died. He retired in 1971 at the age of 80, after serving under seven presidents.
Following the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy '40. McCormack served for 13 months as both speaker and de facto vice-president under President Lyndon B. Johnson. "Though McCormack was overshadowed by Rayburn and Johnson, he was an effective.