Former Gov. John Swainson, who survived the loss of both legs in World War II, went on to become governor and later saw his career destroyed by scandal, died of a heart attack Friday. He was 68.
Swainson was elected governor in 1960 at age 35, only six years after entering politics. He narrowly lost his bid for a second term in 1962, then served as a Wayne County circuit judge and won a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court in 1970.
He resigned from the high court Nov. 7, 1975, five days after he was convicted on three counts of lying to a federal grand jury. Swainson served 60 days in a halfway house.
He was acquitted of the main charges of taking a $40,000 bribe to win a Supreme Court review of a convicted burglar’s case.
He was on a volunteer mission to take ammunition and food to isolated soldiers stranded after D-Day in June, 1944, when he was gravely injured by a mine that killed three soldiers. Swainson lost both legs below the knees.