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Christine Radogno
Edward Derwinski dies at 85; first VA secretary
Edward Derwinski dies at 85; first VA secretary

Edward Derwinski, who represented Chicago's south side and adjoining suburbs in Congress for nearly a quarter-century before becoming the nation's first secretary of Veterans Affairs, died Sunday of cancer at a nursing home in Oak Brook, Ill., his family said. He was 85. After serving one term in the Illinois Legislature, he ran successfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1958 and held the seat until losing a primary race in 1982 after the boundaries of his district were redrawn. President Reagan kept Derwinski in Washington by appointing him to the State Department as a top counselor and trouble-shooter. He rose to undersecretary for national security affairs during...

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