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Bill Chappell
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Syd Herlong
Succeeded by Craig James
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

In office
April 4, 1961 – November 9, 1962
Preceded by Tom Beasley
Succeeded by Mallory Horne
Member of the Florida House of Representatives

In office
November 2, 1954 – November 3, 1964
Preceded by C. Farris Bryant
Succeeded by William G. O'Neill
Constituency Marion County

In office
November 8, 1966 – November 5, 1968
Preceded by William G. O'Neill
Succeeded by Buddy MacKay
Constituency Citrus, Hernando, Marion, and Sumter Counties (1966–67)
30th district (1967–68)
Personal details
Born (1922-02-03)February 3, 1922
Kendrick, Florida
Died March 30, 1989(1989-03-30) (aged 67)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jeane Brown Chappell
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1942–1946 (USN)
1946–1983 (USNR)
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Captain

William Venroe Chappell Jr. (February 3, 1922 – March 30, 1989) was an American Democratic politician from Florida who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1989.[1]

Early life, education and military service[edit | edit source]

Born in Kendrick, Florida, Chappell graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in 1947, a Bachelor of Laws in 1949, and a Juris Doctor in 1967.

He served in the United States Navy, aviator from 1942 to 1946. He retired as a captain from United States Navy Reserve in 1983.

Legal career and government service[edit | edit source]

Chappell began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney in Marion County from 1950 to 1954. He later was a member of the law firm of Chappell and Rowland in Ocala.

Chappell represented Marion County in the Florida House of Representatives from 1954 to 1964, and served as Speaker of the House from 1961 to 1963. He did not seek reelection in 1964 but was elected again in 1966 from a district encompassing Marion, Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter Counties.

Congressional career[edit | edit source]

When incumbent Congressman Syd Herlong retired in 1968, Chappell ran for and was elected to Florida's 4th congressional district. He was re-elected nine times.

Chappell was a moderate to conservative Democrat and served on the United States House Appropriations Committee. At the time of his defeat he was serving as chairman of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

He was defeated in the 1988 general election by Republican Craig James, losing narrowly 50.2–49.8%.[2]

Personal life and legacy[edit | edit source]

Chappell married the former Jeane Brown on September 28, 1985. He was a resident of Ocala, Florida, until his death in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 30, 1989 from bone cancer.

The Port Orange Causeway, spanning the Halifax River, in Port Orange, Florida, was named the Congressman William V. Chappell Jr. Memorial Bridge by the Florida Legislature in 1989.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Daytona Beach, Florida was posthumously named after him.

References[edit | edit source]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Syd Herlong
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Craig James

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

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