SAUGATUCK (WWJ) – Former U.S. Congressman from Michigan, Howard Wolpe, has died of undisclosed causes, passing away late last night in his Saugatuck home at age 71.

A former seven-term U.S. Representative, Wolpe won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Michigan in 1994 before losing the general election to incumbent Governor John Engler.

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As Michigan mourns, several in the legisuature have issused statments on Wolpe’s passing:

“Today our country lost a true patriot, a devoted teacher, and a wonderful statesman.  He was a dear friend of mine who shared my love and care for the great state of Michigan.  His impact on public policy in Michigan, our country, and across the world was a positive one.  Howard contributed most of his life to bringing civility to government relations and making this world a better place, a passion I was able to witness during Howard’s 14 years here in the House of Representatives.  He served Michigan ably and honorably and went on to serve as the Presidential Special Envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes Region, where he initiated peace talks and helped end civil wars in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.   Debbie and I send our deepest condolences to his wife and son. He will be missed tremendously.”

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– Congressman John Dingell


“I’m shocked and saddened by the news of Howard Wolpe’s death.  Howard approached his work in Congress with intelligence, intensity, honesty and a complete devotion to improving the lives of working families and individuals around the globe.  He was a model public servant who thoroughly enjoyed his Michigan roots.  His work promoting racial justice, conflict resolution and equality opportunity was a common thread throughout his career and the world is a better place because of it.”

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– Congressman  Sander Levin