Charley Vanik Passed Away, Aged 94

Submitted by Brooke C. Stoddard on Sat, 2007-09-15 17:39.

Club Member Tom Steich reported the following:

The August 31 Plain Dealer and News Herald reported that former Cleveland Congressman Charles A. Vanik passed away at age 94 from natural causes at his home in Jupiter, Fla. Charley Vanik served 26 years in Congress representing the 21st Congressional District (Cleveland's East Side) from 1955 to 1969, and then the 22nd District from 1969 to his retirement in 1981. When his 21st District became majority Afro-American population, he gave up his seat so that Louis Stokes could run for his seat in Congress. Charley then ran against Congresswoman Frances Bolton in 1968 and won her seat in Congress representing the 22nd District (Eastern suburbs of Cleveland).

Congressman Vanik is known for, among many accomplishments, co-sponsoring the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the U.S. Foriegn Trade Law addressing discrimination behind the Iron Curtain, his efforts to help the less fortunate in our society, publishing an annual list of U.S. corporations that failed to pay their fair share of taxes, and his trademark black/navy blue tuxedo and bowtie he wore everyday. Those of us who were fortunate to work for him will never forget him, because he was one of a kind. Owing to his lifetime of public and constituent service to the people of Greater Cleveland, he had a deserved reputation of having been in every constituent's kitchen. Thus, he never had to solicit campaign contributions to run for office, and when he concluded in 1980 that he would have to begin soliciting campaign contributions, he retired from Congress.

The family is having a private funeral in Florida but plans to have public memorial services in Cleveland and Washington, DC at a later date, according to news reports.

Tom Steich