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Robert Nix Sr. dead at 88

PHILADELPHIA -- Robert N.C. Nix Sr., Pennsylvania's first black congressman and the father of the state's chief justice, died Monday of cardiac arrest. He was 88.

Nix died at the Medical College of Philadelphia at 3:17 a.m. EDT, after being admitted May 27, hospital spokeswoman Patricia Baldridge said. Nix's son is state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr.

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'We have lost a senior statesman and a trailblazer ... a brilliant legal mind,' said Mayor Wilson Goode. Nix was a Democratic ward leader in North Philadelphia when he died.

Nix served more than 20 years in Congress. He was first appointed to Congress in 1958 to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Earl Chudoff, said Wynne Alexander, a spokeswoman for Nix's son.

During his tenure in Congress, Nix attained many positions of responsibility, including congressional representative to the United Nations and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Nix graduated from Lincoln University, and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1924.

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