Paul Tsongas

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Paul Efthemios Tsongas (pronounced /ˈsɒŋgəs/) (February 14, 1941 – January 18, 1997) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a one-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Previously he also served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and held local political office as well.

Tsongas was born along with a twin sister, Thaleia (Schlesinger), to a working-class Greek father and native Massachusetts mother. He attended Dartmouth and Yale Law School before settling in Lowell, Massachusetts.

He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia in 1962–1964, and as Peace Corps Country Director in the West Indies in 1967–1968.

Tsongas first entered politics as a city councillor, elected to the Lowell City Council in 1969 where he served two consecutive terms. Tsongas went on to serve as a county commissioner of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In 1974 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, defeating Republican incumbent Paul W. Cronin. He served two terms in the House, and in 1978 he was elected to the Senate, defeating incumbent Edward Brooke. In 1983, however, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma[1] and in 1984 announced his retirement from the Senate. His seat went to fellow Democrat and 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry. After fighting the illness he returned to politics and, in 1992, ran for his party's nomination for President. Until the 1992 campaign, he had never lost an election.


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