By Judy Kurtz
A new report details members of Congress who made so-called “patriotic exits” and passed away on the Fourth of July, including four lawmakers who died on Independence Day while in office.
The rather morbid stats come from the nonpartisan site Smart Politics, run by Eric Ostermeier at the University of Minnesota.
The most recent lawmaker death on the red-white-and-blue-waving holiday was former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who died at age 86 in 2008.
Helms’s home state shares the dubious title of having the most lawmakers to die on July 4. Overall, four members of Congress from North Carolina and Pennsylvania died on the Fourth of July.
The most famous political death on the patriotic day, according to Smart Politics, was when President James Monroe died in 1831. Monroe’s death was exactly five years to the day after two founding fathers, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, passed away on the same day.