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Pennsylvania’s First Black U.S. Congressman Dies

June 23, 1987

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Robert N.C. Nix Sr., Pennsylvania’s first black congressman and the father of the state’s present chief justice, died Monday at the age of 88.

Nix died of a heart attack at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, hospital spokeswoman Pat Baldridge said.

Nix was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1958, to fill an unexpired term, and served for more than 20 years until he lost in the 1978 Democratic primary to Rep. William Gray III.

While in Congress, he was the chairman of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee. He also was a ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

A federal building now used by state appellate courts in Philadelphia bears Nix’s name.

He is survived by his only child, Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr., and four grandchildren.

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