Former Congressman Andrew Jacobs Jr. passes away - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Former Congressman Andrew Jacobs Jr. remembered


Indiana is remembering longtime legislator Andrew Jacobs, Jr.  Family members say Jacobs passed away Saturday at the age of 81, peacefully at his home.

Andy Jacobs graduated from Shortridge High School and Indiana University.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and in the Korean War.

As a U.S. Congressman, Andy Jacobs left an indelible mark on public policy and most importantly, civil rights.  He represented Hoosiers in Congress for three decades.

A humble public servant, Andy Jacobs lived life on Capitol Hill simply.  He slept on an office couch and he didn't want his name on the door - only the district for which he served.  For this Indiana democrat, it was about doing the work of the people.

Throughout his 14 term Congressional career, dating back to the 1960's, Jacobs, a military veteran himself, was an early opponent to the war in Vietnam.

He wrote legislation on health care reform, deficit reduction and term limits.

But Jacobs is best known as a champion of civil rights.
He co-authored landmark legislation with the Voting Rights Act.

"The whole existence of the United States I think has been an effort to let reality catch up with our poetry. All are created equal." Jacobs said in 2008.

Jacobs said the Voting Rights Act was his most important work because of the visible changes it made in the country and in Congress.

"And within a week of President Johnson signing that bill into law, the Voting Rights Act, these racist white representatives from the south were entertaining black constituents for lunch here in the Capitol. And I said to myself - yes," Jacobs recalled in 1996, prior to his retirement.

Jacobs was well-respected on both sides of the political aisle.
In retirement, he stayed active helping Hoosiers and rallying for peace.

But it was that work in Washington for so many years that forged friendships and changed lives in Indiana and across the country.

"I'll miss my Republican and Democrat friends here. As far as the building, as far as the work, I'm content. I've never been so at peace with a decision," Jacobs said in 1996.

Jacobs is survived by his wife, former WTHR anchor Kim Hood-Jacobs and their two children.

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