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Ex-Ill. Rep. Frank Annunzio Dies

April 8, 2001

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Former Illinois Rep. Frank Annunzio, who represented Chicago in Washington for 28 years, died Sunday. He was 86.

Annunzio, who had Parkinson’s disease, slipped into a coma about a week ago, family spokesman Dominic DiFrisco said.

A Democrat who served in the U.S. House from 1965 to 1993, Annunzio was a shoeshine boy, high school teacher and labor leader before being elected to Congress, DiFrisco said.

In 1989, Annunzio urged credit card holders to cut up or burn their cards in an effort to try to force down interest rates.

Annunzio, then a subcommittee chairman of the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee, said consumers should ``hold their credit card up to a mirror and say, ’I’m addicted to this darn thing and I’m better off without it.‴

Recently, Annunzio lent his name to a campaign against the HBO series ``The Sopranos.″

``The congressman tried to make everyone aware of the positive aspects of the Italian-American community, and was puzzled and chagrined by the ceaseless efforts to depict us as wanton criminals,″ DiFrisco told WBBM Radio in Chicago.

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