Rangel, Charles B., 1930-

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Charles Bernard Rangel (born June 11, 1930) is an American politician who was a U.S. representative for districts in New York from 1971 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the second-longest serving incumbent member of the House of Representatives at the time of his retirement, serving continuously since 1971. As its most senior member, he was also the Dean of New York's congressional delegation. Rangel was the first African-American Chair of the influential House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rangel was born in Harlem in Upper Manhattan and lives there to this day. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he led a group of soldiers out of a deadly Chinese army encirclement during the Battle of Kunu-ri in 1950. Rangel graduated from New York University in 1957 and St. John's University School of Law in 1960. He then worked as a private lawyer, assistant U.S. attorney, and legal counsel during the early-mid-1960s. He served two terms in the New York State Assembly, from 1967 to 1971, and then defeated long-time incumbent Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in a primary challenge on his way to being elected to the House of Representatives.

Once there, Rangel rose rapidly in the Democratic ranks, combining solidly liberal views with a pragmatic approach towards finding political and legislative compromises. His long-time concerns with battling the importation and effects of illegal drugs led to his becoming chair of the House Select Committee on Narcotics, where he helped define national policy on the issue during the 1980s. As one of Harlem's "Gang of Four", he also became a leader in New York City and State politics. He played a significant role in the creation of the 1995 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and the national Empowerment Zone Act, which helped change the economic face of Harlem and other inner-city areas. Rangel is known both for his genial manner, with an ability to win over fellow legislators, and for his blunt speaking; he has long been outspoken about his views and has been arrested several times as part of political demonstrations. He was a strong opponent of the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq War, and he put forth proposals to reinstate the draft during the 2000s.

Beginning in 2008, Rangel faced a series of personal legal issues focusing on ethics violations and allegations of failures to abide by the tax laws. The House Ethics Committee focused on whether Rangel improperly rented multiple rent-stabilized New York apartments, improperly used his office in raising money for the Rangel Center at the City College of New York, and failed to disclose rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic. In March 2010, Rangel stepped aside as Ways and Means Chair. In November 2010, the Ethics Committee found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules, and on December 2, 2010, the full House approved a sanction of censure against him. During the 2012 and 2014 elections, Rangel faced two strong primary challenges in a now primarily Hispanic district but prevailed. He did not run for re-election in 2016 and left office in January 2017.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Florynce Kennedy, (inclusive), (bulk), 1915-2004, 1947-1993 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Schoener, Allon. Harlem on My Mind exhibition records, 1966-2007. Archives of American Art
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn David Dinkins Papers, 1941-2001, [Bulk Dates: 1985-1993]. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Roddey E. Mims Collection. 1976 - 1982. Roddey E. Mims' Files, 1976-1982 Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 3/8/78
referencedIn Floyd B. McKissick Papers, 1940s-1980s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers, 1976 - 1992 National Archives at Washington, D.C
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Public Liaison (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. Alexis Herman's Files , ca. 1993 - ca. 1996 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Jones, J. Raymond (John Raymond), 1899-1991. J. Raymond Jones collection, 1962-1991. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Berger, Raoul. Raoul Berger Papers. 1921-2000. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Harlem on My Mind exhibition records, 1966-2007 Archives of American Art
referencedIn White House Press Releases (Ford Administration), 1974 - 1977. Press Releases, 1974 - 1977 Gerald R. Ford Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of Justice, 1790 - 2002. Congressional Committee Chairmen Correspondence Files, 1982 - 1998. National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Berger, Raoul. Raoul Berger Papers. 1921-2000. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Julian Bond papers [manuscript], 1968-2010. Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Press Secretary (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. Mike McCurry's Files, 1995 - 1998 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Friedan, Betty, 1921-2006. Papers, 1933-1985 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dinkins, David N. David Dinkins papers, 1941-2001 [Bulk Dates: 1985-1993]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Staff Scheduling Memoranda. 1977 - 1978. 3/1/78 - 3/7/78
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf The HistoryMakers Video Oral History with The Honorable Charles B. Rangel The HistoryMakers
Relation Name
associatedWith Berger, Raoul, 1901- person
associatedWith Betty Friedan person
associatedWith Bond, Julian, 1940- person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
memberOf Congressional Black Caucus (United States) corporateBody
associatedWith Dinkins, David N. person
associatedWith Dinkins, David N. person
associatedWith Jones, J. Raymond (John Raymond), 1899-1991. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Florynce person
correspondedWith McKissick, Floyd B. (Floyd Bixler), 1922- person
memberOf New York (State). Legislature. Assembly corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf New York University corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
associatedWith Schoener, Allon. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf St. John's University School of Law corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Subject
Occupation
State Assemblyman
Lawyers
Representatives, U.S. Congress--New York (State)
Soldiers
Function

Person

Birth 1930-06-11

Male

Americans

English

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