Former Rep. Clay Shaw dies at 74

Former Rep Clay Shaw (R-Fla.) died Tuesday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 74.  

“It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that our family announces the passing of our loving husband, father, grandfather, congressman and mayor, E.C lay Shaw, Jr. Shaw passed away on Tuesday, September 10th at Holy Cross Hospital surrounded by family and following a courageous battle against lung cancer,” his family said in a statement.


Shaw lost the House seat he occupied for 13 terms to former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) in 2006. Shaw was treated for cancer while he was in Congress, where he served in from 1981-2007. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) expressed his condolences Wednesday in a statement.

“I was always impressed by Clay’s work on the causes he was most passionate about,” Rubio wrote. “Clay’s impact on America will forever be felt through the important reforms he championed on welfare reform, Social Security reform and Everglades restoration.”

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Following President Obama’s speech on Syria Tuesday night, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) tweeted, “Sad 2 hear that our pal, former Fl Cong E Clay Shaw, passed away 2night. Condolences 2 Emily. They were always 2gether.”

In Congress, Shaw was chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, where he authored the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Another legislative hallmark was his effort to eliminate the Social Security earnings penalty on working seniors. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) called the late congressman was a mentor and friend.

"He was a principled Chairman, a sharp legislative mind and passionate about expanding opportunities for American families," Camp said in a statement. "Clay Shaw will be deeply missed by all of us at the Ways and Means Committee. He was one of the finest individuals I have known as well as one of the Committee's best leaders.”

Before his long run in Congress, Shaw served as mayor of Fort Lauderdale. 

Shaw is survived by his wife, four children and 15 grandchildren.   

He will be buried in Cuba, Ala. A memorial service will be held in Fort Lauderdale at a later date. 

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