BOXOBITUARIES-Working Class Crusader and Former U.S Senator Howard Metzanbaum (D-Ohio), Dies at Age 90

In obituaries, politics on March 14, 2008 by Editor Z

Former U.S Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), dies at age 90.

Ex- U.S Senator Howard Metzenbaum, who was known for his populist streak and advocacy for the working class, during his tenure as a Democratic U.S Senator from Ohio, passed away Wendsday night at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida residence. He was 90 years old.

“In the Senate and after the Senate- Senator Metzenbaum never gave up his passion for fighting for ordinary people and being a warrior for social and economic justice,” said the office of current Democratic U.S Senator from Ohio Sherrod Brown, in a press release. ” And that is what he will be remembered for.”

Metzenbaum, came into the world in 1917 in Cleveland, Ohio. He remained an Ohio native, until about 14 years ago when he retired from the U.S Senate.

In 1939, Metzenbaum earned a Bachelor’s degree in law from Ohio State University. He made his debut into elected politics in 1943, when he won a seat in the Ohio State House of Representatives where he served for four years. His political career advanced further, when in 1947 he was elected to Ohio’s State Senate serving there until his term concluded in 1951.

But there was life outside politics for Metzenbaum. He would take a sabbatical from elected office in 1951 and returned to practicing law. On the side, he also made a vast fortune in real estate investments as well and even went on to acquire a number of local Ohio weekly publications.

Eventually though after a failed run for the U.S Senate in 1964, Metzenbuam was again summoned back into the world of elected politics when he entered the U.S Senate, when a Republican resigned. Metzenbhuam held that seat until later that year when he lost the Democratic nomination for the seat. But in 1976 he made a run for Ohio’s other U.S Senate seat and this time won the Democratic nomination as well as the Senate seat in the general election. He would serve a total of four terms in the Senate.

Metzenbuam served on the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee. He was a proponent of anti-trust laws, and a fervent backer of legislation aimed at protecting workers and consumers, including one law that required that employers inform workers at plants and factories, at least sixty days before they shutdown. He also played a crucial role in the passage of the Brady Bill. He was known as Dr No, for his opposition to any legislation would often preclude its eventual defeat.

Unlike a great many in the Democratic party who tended to view the label of ‘liberal’ as a scourge of sorts, Metzenbaum openly embraced it with a strongly pro-choice, workers rights, and pro-civil rights voting record.

In 1994, at the age of 76, Metzenbaum declined to run for re-election and retired from politics. He continued his activism. A year following his retirement from politics, Metzenbaum served for a time as chairman of the Consumer Federation of America.

Metzenbaum is survived by a wife, Shirley Metzenbaum as well as three grown daughters.

Shame that there isn’t more brave Senators like him still around today in the Senate.



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