Flags ordered to half-staff for Richard Schweiker

Former Sen. Richard Schweiker has died at age 89. (Photo Courtesy: SSA.gov/Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Tom Wolf has ordered Pennsylvania flags at the Capitol Complex and other government buildings to fly at half-staff to honor former United States Senator and Health and Human Services Secretary Richard Schweiker.

Schweiker died Friday at a New Jersey hospital. He was 89.

“Richard Schweiker served Pennsylvania with distinction and grace as a congressman, senator and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Wolf said in a statement. “On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, Frances and I extend our condolences to the friends and family of this great public servant.”

Schweiker served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and began his elected service in 1960 when he represented Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district in Montgomery County. He served in the United States Senate from 1969 until 1981.

In 1976, he was the vice presidential candidate in Ronald Reagan’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. In 1981, he was sworn in as the 14th Secretary of Health and Human Services.

He retired in 1983 after 22 years of public service.

Wolf said state flags shall remain at half-staff until interment.

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