James H. Scheuer, 85; Democrat Served 26 Years in Congress

From Times Wire Services

Former Rep. James H. Scheuer, 85, a Democrat who represented parts of New York City and Nassau County for 13 terms in Congress, died Monday of coronary disease and kidney failure at his home in Washington, D.C.

A wealthy real estate developer and lawyer, Scheuer was elected to Congress in 1964 and served until 1992, except for a two-year period in the mid-1970s after he lost an election. In his 26 years in Congress, Scheuer saw his district change several times due to redrawing of its borders.

In Washington, he championed measures addressing the Head Start early development program, car safety, environmental protection and family planning.

A native of New York City, Scheuer earned his bachelor’s degree at Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from Harvard Business School and a law degree from Columbia University.


Scheuer was a flight instructor during World War II and became a real estate developer after the war. He contracted polio in the late 1940s, and spent a year in recovery at the Warm Springs Foundation in Georgia.

After retiring from Congress, Scheuer was appointed by President Clinton as the U.S. director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, where he worked until 1995.