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Subject: Roman Pucinski, journalist and politician

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Date Posted: September 27, 2002 1:47:18 EDT

Roman C. Pucinski, 83, a former journalist and fixture of Chicago politics who served five terms in Congress, died Wednesday of pneumonia.

A longtime leader in Chicago's Polish community, Pucinski spent 13 years in Congress and 20 years on the Chicago City Council.

He was born in Chicago and educated in its public schools, followed by Northwestern University and John Marshall Law School in Chicago. While an undergraduate, he became a reporter for the Chicago Times, later the Sun-Times. He continued to work as a journalist while in law school, but never took the bar exam because he was preoccupied with coverage of the 1948 presidential election.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps and flew 49 missions over Japan. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Clusters.

Pucinski spent 20 years as a reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times before being elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1958. He was reelected five times before an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1972 against incumbent Republican Charles Percy. The next year, he ran for alderman from the 41st Ward on Chicago's Northwest side. He won, and held the seat until his retirement from the council in 1991.

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