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George M. O'Brien

George Miller O'Brien (June 17, 1917 – July 17, 1986) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives. He represented Illinois' 17th and 4th districts from 1973 until his death from prostate cancer in Bethesda, Maryland in 1986.

George M. O'Brien
George M. O'Brien.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – July 17, 1986
Preceded byEd Derwinski
Succeeded byJack Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byLeslie C. Arends
Succeeded byLane Evans
Personal details
Born(1917-06-17)June 17, 1917
Chicago, Illinois
DiedJuly 17, 1986(1986-07-17) (aged 69)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political partyRepublican

O'Brien was born in Chicago, Illinois to a middle-class Irish Catholic family. He attended a private Catholic school before entering Northwestern University. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. O'Brien earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1947. However, he did not get to practice law until returning from World War II. During the war, O'Brien rose to the rank of lieutenant while fighting in Germany. Beginning in 1946, he practiced law privately. In 1970, he was appointed to the state's Legislative Advisory Committee, and in 1971 he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives.

After just one term in the state House, O'Brien successfully ran for Congress in 1973. O'Brien was a centrist who was popular among members of both parties. Following redistricting in 1982, he and fellow Republican Ed Derwinski were drawn into the same district. The redrawn district retained Derwinski's number, the 4th, and Derwinski had 14 years more seniority than O'Brien. However, the new district was geographically more O'Brien's district than Derwinski's. O'Brien won the primary, and then general elections. In April 1986, O'Brien discovered that he had prostate cancer, which forced him to give up his bid for an eighth term. He succumbed to the disease just two months later. Fellow Illinois Republican Congressman John E. Grotberg too died of cancer just four months later.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "George M. O'Brien (id: O000010)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Leslie C. Arends
U.S. Representative of Illinois' 17th Congressional District
Succeeded by
Lane Evans
Preceded by
Ed Derwinski
U.S. Representative of Illinois' 4th Congressional District
Succeeded by
Jack Davis