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Politicians: Death in Airports

Very incomplete list!

in chronological order

  John Thomas Fancher (1891-1928) — also known as Jack T. Fancher — of Washington. Born in Manila (now Espanola), Spokane County, Wash., May 13, 1891. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War I; candidate for U.S. Representative from Washington 5th District, 1926. Wounded by the premature explosion of a bomb was destroying, in an empty field at the newly-opened Wenatchee airport, and died soon after in the hospital at Wenatchee, Chelan County, Wash., April 30, 1928 (age 36 years, 353 days). Interment at Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane, Wash.
  Relatives: Son of John Abbot Fancher (1855-1931) and Nellie (Thompson) Fancher (1860-1921); married, July 5, 1920, to Evelyn Jones or Jonz.
  William Kirk Kaynor (1884-1929) — also known as William K. Kaynor — of Springfield, Hampden County, Mass. Born in Sanborn, O'Brien County, Iowa, November 29, 1884. Republican. Postmaster at Springfield, Mass., 1923-28; U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 2nd District, 1929; died in office 1929. Killed in the crash of a military plane, shortly after takeoff from the Bolling Field air base, Anacostia, Washington, D.C., December 20, 1929 (age 45 years, 21 days). It was his first time in an airplane. Interment at Oak Grove Cemetery, Springfield, Mass.
  Relatives: Married to Alice Chapin Reed (1884-1968).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Find-A-Grave memorial
  William Dee Becker (1876-1943) — also known as William D. Becker — of St. Louis, Mo. Born in East St. Louis, St. Clair County, Ill., October 23, 1876. Republican. Lawyer; Judge, Missouri St. Louis Court of Appeals, 1916-40; defeated, 1940; mayor of St. Louis, Mo., 1941-43; died in office 1943. German ancestry. Member, American Bar Association. Was a passenger in an experimental Army glider, towed by an airplane; the glider's wings suddenly fell off, and it crashed at Lambert-St. Louis Airfield, St. Louis County, Mo., August 1, 1943 (age 66 years, 282 days). Interment at Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
  Relatives: Son of John Philip Becker and Anna A. (Cammann) Becker; married, June 10, 1902, to Margaret Louise McIntosh.
  Edmund Arthur Ball (1894-1947) — also known as E. Arthur Ball — of Muncie, Delaware County, Ind.; Westwood, Bergen County, N.J. Born in Muncie, Delaware County, Ind., December, 1894. Democrat. Vice-president of the Ball Brothers glass container company; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1940. Died, from a heart seizure brought on by influenza, while seated in his parked car at the municipal airport, in Millville, Cumberland County, N.J., April 16, 1947 (age 52 years, 0 days). Entombed at Beech Grove Cemetery, Muncie, Ind.
  Relatives: Son of Frank Clayton Ball (1858-1943) and Elizabeth Wolfe (Brady) Ball (1867-1944); married, January 24, 1920, to Frances Louise Davies; nephew of George Alexander Ball; third cousin thrice removed of Harrison Blodget (1801-1899).
  Political families: Morris-Ingersoll family of New York and Connecticut; Eastman family; Saltonstall-Weeks family of Massachusetts; Kellogg-Seymour-Chapin-Adams family of Connecticut and New York (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  George Joseph Bates (1891-1949) — also known as George J. Bates — of Salem, Essex County, Mass. Born in Salem, Essex County, Mass., February 25, 1891. Republican. Member of Massachusetts state house of representatives Eighteenth Essex District, 1918-24; mayor of Salem, Mass., 1924-37; U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 6th District, 1937-49; died in office 1949. Killed in an airplane collision between an Eastern Air Lines DC-4 passenger airliner and a war surplus P-38 fighter plane purchased by Bolivia, near Washington National Airport, Arlington, Arlington County, Va., November 1, 1949 (age 58 years, 249 days). Interment at St. Mary's Cemetery, Salem, Mass.
  Relatives: Son of Thomas F. Bates and Annie (Burns) Bates; married, October 31, 1911, to Nora Jennings; father of William Henry Bates (1917-1969).
  Bates Elementary School, in Salem, Massachusetts, is named for him.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Michael Joseph Kennedy (1897-1949) — also known as Michael J. Kennedy — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born in New York City (unknown county), N.Y., October 25, 1897. Democrat. U.S. Representative from New York 15th District, 1939-43; delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1940; leader of New York County Democratic Party, 1942. Member, Tammany Hall. Killed in an airplane collision between an Eastern Air Lines DC-4 passenger airliner and a war surplus P-38 fighter plane purchased by Bolivia, near Washington National Airport, Arlington, Arlington County, Va., November 1, 1949 (age 52 years, 7 days). Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Frederick Simpich (1878-1950) — of Wenatchee, Chelan County, Wash. Born in Urbana, Champaign County, Ill., November 21, 1878. Stenographer; newspaper correspondent; U.S. Consul in Baghdad, 1909-11; Ensenada, 1911; Nogales, as of 1916-17; U.S. Vice & Deputy Consul in Nogales, as of 1914. Suffered a heart attack at National Airport, where he was about to board a plane, and died soon after in Garfield Memorial Hospital, Washington, D.C., January 25, 1950 (age 71 years, 65 days). Interment at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Married to Margaret Edwards (1884-1981).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Harvey L. Schwamm (c.1905-1958) — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y.; Riverdale, Bronx, Bronx County, N.Y. Born about 1905. Republican. Real estate broker; banker; candidate for New York state senate 15th District, 1938, 1940; alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1940; major in the U.S. Army during World War II; Presidential Elector for New York, 1952, 1956. Jewish. Killed when a Northeast Airlines plane, landing in heavy fog, crashed and burned, about 300 yards short of the airport runway, in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Mass., August 15, 1958 (age about 53 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married 1924 to Lillian Tverskoi (died 1958).
  Gordon Evans Dean (1905-1958) — also known as Gordon E. Dean — Born in Seattle, King County, Wash., December 28, 1905. Newspaper reporter; lawyer; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; law professor; member, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1949-53; chair, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1950-53. Killed when a Northeast Airlines plane, landing in heavy fog, crashed and burned, about 300 yards short of the airport runway, in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Mass., August 15, 1958 (age 52 years, 230 days). Interment at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood, Md.
  Relatives: Son of Rev. John Marvin Dean; married 1930 to Adelaide Williamson (divorced 1953); married, December 19, 1953, to Mary Benton Gore (first cousin once removed of Albert Arnold Gore; second cousin of Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. (1948-)).
  Political family: Gore family of Carthage, Tennessee.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Leroy George Augenstein (1928-1969) — also known as Leroy G. Augenstein — of Holt, Ingham County, Mich. Born in Decatur, Macon County, Ill., March 6, 1928. Republican. Biophysicist; university professor; member of Michigan state board of education, 1967-69; died in office 1969. Protestant. Member, Sigma Xi; Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Killed when his twin-engine plane crashed during the landing approach to Beech Airport, near Charlotte, Eaton County, Mich., November 8, 1969 (age 41 years, 247 days). Interment at Evergreen Cemetery, Lansing, Mich.
  Relatives: Son of Roy H. Augenstein; married 1950 to Elizabeth Schmalfuss (1927-1998).
  Books by Leroy G. Augenstein: Come, let us play God
  George Washington Collins (1925-1972) — also known as George W. Collins — of Chicago, Cook County, Ill. Born in Chicago, Cook County, Ill., March 5, 1925. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during World War II; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1964 (alternate), 1968; U.S. Representative from Illinois 6th District, 1970-72; died in office 1972. Baptist. African ancestry. Died in an airplane crash during landing approach at Midway Airport, Chicago, Cook County, Ill., December 8, 1972 (age 47 years, 278 days). Interment at Burr Oak Cemetery, Chicago, Ill.
  Presumably named for: George Washington
  Relatives: Married to Cardiss Hortense Robertson (1931-2013).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  Jerry Lon Litton (1937-1976) — also known as Jerry Litton — of Chillicothe, Livingston County, Mo. Born near Lock Springs, Daviess County, Mo., May 12, 1937. Democrat. U.S. Representative from Missouri 6th District, 1973-76; died in office 1976. Member, Omicron Delta Kappa; Alpha Zeta. While running for U.S. Senator, died in the crash of a private plane, shortly after takeoff from the Municipal Airport, Chillicothe, Livingston County, Mo., August 3, 1976 (age 39 years, 83 days). Interment at Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Chillicothe, Mo.
  Relatives: Married to Sharon Summerville.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  Ralph Frederick Beermann (1912-1977) — of Dakota City, Dakota County, Neb. Born near Dakota City, Dakota County, Neb., August 13, 1912. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during World War II; U.S. Representative from Nebraska, 1961-65 (3rd District 1961-63, 1st District 1963-65). Lutheran. Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars; American Legion; Farm Bureau; Kiwanis. Died in an airplane crash at the Municipal Airport in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, February 17, 1977 (age 64 years, 188 days). Interment at Dakota City Cemetery, Dakota City, Neb.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Richard Dudley Obenshain (1935-1978) — also known as Richard D. Obenshain — of Richmond, Va. Born in Abingdon, Washington County, Va., October 31, 1935. Republican. Lawyer; delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1964; candidate for U.S. Representative from Virginia 3rd District, 1964; candidate for Virginia state attorney general, 1969; Virginia Republican state chair, 1972-73; candidate for U.S. Senator from Virginia 1978, but died before election. Presbyterian. Member, American Bar Association; American Judicature Society; Freemasons; Phi Delta Phi. Killed when his small plane crashed during a nighttime landing at Chesterfield County Airport, Chesterfield County, Va., August 2, 1978 (age 42 years, 275 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Samuel Shockley Obenshain (1904-2000; soil scientist) and Josephine Mathews (Dudley) Obenshain; married, July 15, 1961, to Helen Nottingham Wilkins; father of Mark Obenshain (1962-) and Kate Obenshain Griffin.
  Political family: Obenshain family of Richmond, Virginia.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Leo Joseph Ryan (1925-1978) — also known as Leo J. Ryan — of San Francisco, Calif.; South San Francisco, San Mateo County, Calif. Born in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb., May 5, 1925. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; mayor of South San Francisco, Calif., 1962; member of California state assembly, 1963-73; delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1964, 1968; U.S. Representative from California 11th District, 1973-78; died in office 1978. Killed by followers of Jim Jones' People's Temple cult, in an ambush at the dirt airstrip of Port Kaituma, Guyana, November 18, 1978 (age 53 years, 197 days). Interment at Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, Calif.
  Cross-reference: Jackie Speier
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  John Goodwin Tower (1925-1991) — also known as John G. Tower — of Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Tex.; Dallas, Dallas County, Tex. Born in Houston, Harris County, Tex., September 29, 1925. Republican. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; university professor; candidate for Texas state house of representatives 81st District, 1954; delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 (delegation chair), 1980; U.S. Senator from Texas, 1961-85; defeated, 1960. Methodist. Member, American Legion; Kappa Sigma; Kiwanis; American Political Science Association; American Association of University Professors. Nominated for Secretary of Defense in 1989, but defeated amid allegations of heavy drinking and womanizing. Killed in the crash of Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2311, two miles short of the runway of Glynco Airport, near Brunswick, Glynn County, Ga., April 5, 1991 (age 65 years, 188 days). Interment at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Tex.
  Relatives: Son of Rev. Joe Z. Tower (1898-1970) and Beryl Tower (1898-1990); married 1952 to Lou Bullington (divorced 1976); married 1977 to Lila Burt Cummings (divorced 1987).
  Cross-reference: Larry Combest
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  William Somers Mailliard (1917-1992) — also known as William S. Mailliard — of San Francisco, Calif. Born in Belvedere, Marin County, Calif., June 10, 1917. Republican. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; member of California Republican State Central Committee, 1948-49; secretary to Gov. Earl Warren, 1949-51; U.S. Representative from California, 1953-74 (4th District 1953-63, 6th District 1963-74); defeated, 1948; resigned 1974. Episcopalian. Member, American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars. Died, of a heart attack, at Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Fairfax County, Va., June 10, 1992 (age 75 years, 0 days). Interment at Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of John Ward Mailliard, Jr. and Kate (Peterson) Mailliard; married, July 13, 1940, to Elizabeth Whinney; married, July 10, 1957, to Cora Millicent Fox.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article
  Thomas Allgood, Sr. (1928-2000) — of Augusta, Richmond County, Ga. Born in Augusta, Richmond County, Ga., September 10, 1928. Lawyer; member of Georgia state senate, 1977-91. Member, American Judicature Society; American Bar Association; Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Killed in the crash of a single-engine airplane, during takeoff from Daniel Field airport, Augusta, Richmond County, Ga., August 4, 2000 (age 71 years, 329 days). Interment at Westover Memorial Park, Augusta, Ga.
  Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. (1938-2003) — also known as Maynard H. Jackson; "Buzzy" — of Atlanta, Fulton County, Ga. Born in Dallas, Dallas County, Tex., March 23, 1938. Democrat. Lawyer; candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1968; mayor of Atlanta, Ga., 1974-82, 1990-94; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2000; Presidential Elector for Georgia, 1992; member of Democratic National Committee from Georgia, 1993. African ancestry. Member, Freemasons; Phi Beta Kappa. Collapsed (heart attack) after getting off a plane at Reagan National Airport, and died soon after, at Virginia Medical Center, Arlington, Arlington County, Va., June 23, 2003 (age 65 years, 92 days). Interment at Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Ga.
  Relatives: Son of Maynard Jackson, Sr. and Irene Dobbs Jackson; married, December 30, 1965, to Burnella Hayes 'Bunnie' Burke; married 1977 to Valerie Richardson; grandson of John Wesley Dobbs (1882-1961).
  See also NNDB dossier — Internet Movie Database profile
  George Dekle Busbee (1927-2004) — of Georgia. Born in Vienna, Dooly County, Ga., August 7, 1927. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; member of Georgia state house of representatives, 1957-72; Governor of Georgia, 1975-83. Baptist. Member, Phi Delta Theta. Died, at Savannah International Airport, Savannah, Chatham County, Ga., July 16, 2004 (age 76 years, 344 days). Interment somewhere in Duluth, Ga.
  See also NNDB dossier
  Frank Moore Fitzgerald (1955-2004) — also known as Frank M. Fitzgerald — of Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Mich. Born in Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Mich., November 11, 1955. Lawyer; member of Michigan state house of representatives, 1987-96 (56th District 1987-92, 71st District 1993-96). United Church of Christ. Died suddenly at LaGuardia Airport, Queens, Queens County, N.Y., December 9, 2004 (age 49 years, 28 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of John Warner Fitzgerald (1924-2006) and Lorabeth Fitzgerald; grandson of Frank Dwight Fitzgerald; great-grandson of John Wesley Fitzgerald.
  Political family: Fitzgerald family of Grand Ledge, Michigan.
  Earl Farwell Dodge (1932-2007) — also known as Earl F. Dodge; "Mr. Prohibition" — of Massachusetts; Winona Lake, Kosciusko County, Ind.; Kansas; Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Mich.; Lakewood, Jefferson County, Colo. Born in Malden, Middlesex County, Mass., December 24, 1932. Prohibition candidate for Massachusetts Governor's Council, 1954; Prohibition candidate for Presidential Elector for Massachusetts, 1956; Prohibition candidate for secretary of state of Massachusetts, 1956; Prohibition candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 2nd District, 1960; Prohibition candidate for U.S. Senator from Kansas, 1966; Prohibition candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1968; Prohibition candidate for Governor of Colorado, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1994; Prohibition candidate for Vice President of the United States, 1976, 1980; Prohibition candidate for President of the United States, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004; Prohibition candidate for U.S. Senator from Colorado, 1990. Baptist. Collapsed at Denver International Airport, and died soon after, from cardiac arrythmia, at the University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colo., November 7, 2007 (age 74 years, 318 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Earl Farwell Dodge (1910-1946) and Dorothy May (Harris) Dodge (1911-1993); married, July 20, 1951, to Barbara Regan.
  See also Wikipedia article
"Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
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The Political Graveyard

The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 312,576 politicians, living and dead.
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