Robert Edgar, former Delaware County congressman, dies at 69
BURKE, Va. — Robert W. Edgar, who represented Pennsylvania for six terms in the House of Representatives and went on to lead the public interest group Common Cause, died Tuesday. He was 69.
Edgar collapsed Tuesday morning in the basement of his home in Burke after a run on the treadmill, said his wife of 48 years, Merle Edgar.
Edgar, a liberal Democrat, was elected in 1974 in a large class of newcomers that came to Washington following the Watergate scandal. His political career ended after he lost a U.S. Senate campaign in 1986 to Arlen Specter.
Edgar had maintained an active travel schedule with Common Cause until his death, advocating for open government. He was the group's president and CEO from 2007 until his death.
He also served as secretary general of the National Council of Churches from 2000 to 2007.
His wife said that his career after politics was a natural extension of his work as an elected official; he gravitated to jobs in public service.
“He was always trying to make the world a better place for all human beings,” she said.
Common Cause Board Chair Robert Reich said in a written statement, “Bob will be remembered for his decency, kindness, compassion and humor. His deep commitment to social justice and strengthening our democracy is his greatest gift to Common Cause and the nation. Our hearts are with Bob's family, his wife Merle, and sons Andrew, David and Rob, and their families.”
Edgar grew up in Springfield, Pa., in Delaware County, and graduated from Lycoming College.
He represented the Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, outside of Philadelphia, and a seat held mostly by Republicans since before the Civil War.
He was an ordained minister in the Methodist Church.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.