The Latest: Tributes pour in for statesman Abner Mikva

AP News
Posted: Jul 05, 2016 12:35 PM
The Latest: Tributes pour in for statesman Abner Mikva

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the death of Abner Mikva (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

The late Illinois congressman, judge and White House adviser Abner Mikva is being remembered for his ability to work with both political parties.

The Democrat died Monday at age 90.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, calls him a "dedicated public servant." Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Mikva was not only a great "Chicagoan, but a great American" who fought for civil liberties.

Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow and Mikva were longtime friends and colleagues, born a few days apart at the same Milwaukee hospital. Minow says Mikva was a good example of how a politician could surmount partisanship.

Others are remembering his work through Mikva Challenge, a youth civic engagement program that was started in 1997 as tribute to Mikva.


10 a.m.

Colleagues, friends and family members are paying tribute to Abner Mikva, a former Illinois congressman and judge who died Monday at age 90.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he regarded Mikva as his "North Star for integrity, independence and progressive values." Durbin says Mikva's "record of public service was proof that the good guys can win without selling their souls."

Steven Cohen, who is married to Mikva's oldest of three daughters, Mary, says his father-in-law was diagnosed with bladder cancer several months ago, but remained "strong and active" until a couple of weeks ago. Cohen says the family thinks it is "fitting he died on the Fourth of July" because he was a "true patriot and had a flair for doing things in a historic way."

Cohen says he'll always remember Mikva's optimism during a close race for Congress in 1974. As the election returns came in and the family waited nervously, Mikva never wavered in optimism and belief in "democracy in action."


9 a.m.

Abner Mikva, a former congressman, Illinois legislator, federal appellate judge and presidential adviser, has died. He was 90.

Brian Brady, the head of Mikva Challenge, a leadership organization Mikva founded, says Mikva died Monday in hospice care at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Brady says he learned of the death from Mikva's daughters.

Mikva, a liberal voice and stalwart of Illinois' political landscape for decades, was most recently active in pushing for the U.S. Senate to consider the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Mikva often told of how he initially tried to get involved in Chicago politics but was told: "We don't want nobody nobody sent."

Brady calls Mikva "the ideal public servant" who was saddened by growing bitter animosity between the parties in Washington.