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Longtime Pittsburgh Congressman Bill Coyne dies

Nov. 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- William Coyne, a low-profile 22-year congressman representing Pittsburgh, died of complications from a fall, former colleagues said. He was 77.

Coyne, who friends described as a quiet but relentless representative for his district, rarely sought media attention, even when his behind-the-scenes work resulted in something other politicians would call a press conference to brag about, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

"The word that is often used to describe him is 'quiet,' " said his nephew, Dan Coyne said. "But that gave a little bit of a false impression of how passionate he was."

Coyne died Sunday.

Coyne, a Democrat who served on the House Ways and Means Committee, served in the Army in Korea from 1955-57. When he returned stateside he began a long career in public service. He was elected a state representative for one term from 1971-73 then served on the City Council for six years, from 1974-80. After that he ran for Congress and won 11 terms before retiring in 2002.

"Bill was a classic Pittsburgher who grew up and lived in the same house all of his life" former Mayor Tom Murphy said. "He never adopted that Washington disconnect that sometimes happens to elected officials. He remained humble and kept the values that he grew up with."

Coyne never married and had no children. He is survived by the last of six siblings, a brother, Phil, and many nieces and nephews.

Topics: Tom Murphy
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