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Convicted Ohio Congressman James Traficant Jr. Dies at 73

James Traficant/umass.edu photo

By  Matt Schudel
Washington Post

James A. Traficant Jr., an iconoclastic nine-term Ohio populist in the U.S. House of Representatives who was convicted on corruption charges in 2002, becoming the second member of Congress to be expelled since the Civil War, died Saturday,  Sept. 27 at a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 73.

A family spokeswoman, Heidi Hanni, confirmed his death to reporters. The former congressman was injured in a tractor accident on his farm near Greenford, Ohio, on Tuesday. A former aide told reporters in Ohio that he apparently had a heart attack while driving the tractor, which overturned inside a building and left the former congressman trapped underneath.

Mr. Traficant, a maverick Democrat who found his own path politically and seemingly in everything else, was one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history. Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity.

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