Monday, May 5, 2014

Former Rep. Jim Oberstar, a true champion of bicycling, dies at 79

I took this photo of Jim Oberstar, speaking at the 2010 National Bike Summit
 
Star Tribune -- Former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, a lion in northern Minnesota politics and the state’s longest-serving congressman, died in his sleep early Saturday in his Maryland home. He was 79.

The veteran Democrat served 36 years - 18 terms from 1975 to 2011 - as a representative from northern Minnesota. 

“His impacts are almost indescribable,” said former state House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, a DFLer from Oberstar’s hometown of Chisholm. “You can’t travel down a road, or a bridge, or an airport or a trail in northeastern Minnesota without his fingerprint on it.”

The son of an underground miner from Chisholm, Oberstar rose to become chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress. He was revered by many in his district for bringing countless road, bridge and trail projects to the area and the rest of the state. 

Oberstar mentored several Minnesotans who are in politics today and grew to become an almost bigger-than-life character in his region until his stunning defeat in 2010.

Fluent in French and a passionate cyclist, Oberstar traveled the country and the world — often on a bike. Oberstar was regarded as one of the more liberal members of Congress, but he remained a strong opponent of abortion and tougher gun laws. He became an international expert in aviation and a crusader in the effort to boost federal spending for roads, bridges and public transit systems.  [Full article ...]

Jim receives an award from Andy Clark, President of the League of American Bicyclists, also taken at the 2010 National Bike Summit.

1 comment:

  1. Very sorry to hear this. We cyclists lost a true champion.

    ReplyDelete