Political operative Anne Wexler dies at 79

Aug. 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Anne Wexler, a U.S. political lobbyist and operative, died Sunday of cancer, Charles Kaiser, a family friend, said. She was 79.

The New York Times reported Wexler, already a longtime influential lobbyist in Washington, forged coalitions for President Jimmy Carter's political agenda in 1978.

"Our job is to create lobbyists," she said in a 1979 interview with The National Journal. "We do that by educating people on the substance of the issues."

"I think she's the most competent woman in Democratic politics in this country," Carter's chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, said in a 1978 interview with the Times.

Wexler advised Geraldine A. Ferraro in her vice presidential run in 1984 and Hillary Clinton in her presidential nomination bid in 2008.

Australia awarded her with its Order of Australia award in 2002 for her role in establishing freer U.S.-Australia trade agreements.

"She is easily the most influential female lobbyist in a world still dominated by men," Washingtonian magazine said in 1998.

Wexler was born Anne Levy on Feb. 10, 1930, in Manhattan. She first became involved in politics going door to door for Harry S. Truman while a Skidmore College history major.

After her college graduation in 1951, she married Richard Wexler, an ophthalmologist, and lived as a housewife in Westport, Conn.

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