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George W. Collins
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
November 3, 1970 – December 8, 1972
Preceded by Daniel J. Ronan
Succeeded by Harold R. Collier
Personal details
Born George Washington Collins
March 5, 1925
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died December 8, 1972(1972-12-08) (aged 47)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington, Virginia

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cardiss Collins (m. 1958–72)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank Private First Class
Battles/wars World War II

George Washington Collins (March 5, 1925 – December 8, 1972) was an American politician. Collins was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois. Collins served from November 1970 until he was killed in a plane crash on December 8, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois at age 47.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Collins was born in Chicago, Collins grew up on the near-north side and attended Waller High School (now known as Lincoln Park High School.[1] After high school, Collins served with the Army engineers in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Collins held positions with the Cook County sheriff’s department, the municipal court system, and the Board of Health, and as administrative assistant to health commissioner prior to being sent to Congress. Collins studied business law at Northwestern University before entering into politics. From 1964–1970, Collins served as a member of the Chicago city council, becoming an alderman in the . Collins was then elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Rep. Daniel J. Ronan and reelected to the succeeding Congress and served until his death.

Death and legacy[edit | edit source]

Collins died on December 8, 1972 when United Airlines Flight 553 crashed on approach to Chicago Midway International Airport. Collins was a passenger on the flight. His wife Cardiss Collins was elected to his seat (which had been redistricted to the 7th district) shortly thereafter. Cardiss Collins was the first African American woman to represent a midwestern district in Congress, and served in the House of Representatives from 1973 until her retirement in 1997, a tenure of over 23 years. In April 1976, The Chicago Public Schools opened Collins Academy High School, a public neighborhood high school in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood in his honor.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel J. Ronan
U.S. Representative of Illinois's 6th Congressional District
Succeeded by
Harold R. Collier

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