J. Swainson; Former Michigan Governor
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.