Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Exemplar...Bob Edgar...Died

Bob Edgar Dies Suddenly At 69

By Mark Hrywna - April 23, 2013
Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause and a former member of Congress, died suddenly this morning at his home in northern Virginia. He was 69.
“We are deeply saddened and shaken today by the passing of Bob Edgar,” said Common Cause Board Chair Robert Reich, a former labor secretary in the Clinton Administration. “Bob will be remembered for his decency, kindness, compassion and humor. His deep commitment to social justice and strengthening our democracy is his greatest gift to Common Cause and our nation,” he said.
Edgar is survived by his wife, Merle, sons, Andrew, David and Rob, and their families.
The former leader of the National Council of Churches was appointed president and CEO of Common Cause in May 2007. He oversaw the resurrection of at least seven state chapters. The 43-year-old nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization has some 400,000 members and 35 state organizations.
Later that same year, Edgar published a book, “Middle Church: Reclaiming the Moral Values of the Faithful Majority from the Religious Right,” which called on progressive people of faith to “take back the moral high ground from the extremists and make America a better and less divided country.”
Edgar last year was selected to The NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50. He was so honored in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while leading the National Council of Churches as general secretary from 2000 to 2007.
“I’ve never met anybody so committed to helping others and who recognized the need for systematic change, and it’s because of the extraordinary person Bob was,” said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector (IS). “I am deeply, deeply shocked. It’s unfathomable to me. He was such a vibrant person,” she said. Edgar served on the IS board from 2003 to 2007.
Elected to Congress in 1974 as a Democrat – part of a group nicknamed “the Watergate babies” – Edgar represented Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District for 12 years. He unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Arlen Specter in 1986, fueling “frustration with undue influence of money in politics” and became an active supporter of clean elections and campaign finance reform. He served on Common Cause’s national board for several years before becoming president.
He held a bachelor’s degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., and a master of divinity from the Theological School of Drew University in Madison, N.J.
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