Farewell To Bob Edgar

bobedgarBWcasual2011Yesterday, the public interest community lost one of its brightest and most effective advocates: Robert W. Edgar, President of Common Cause. Bob collapsed while running on his treadmill at his home in Burke, Virginia. He was 69. I just recently saw Bob at the Watergate conference and we agreed to have lunch as soon as I got through my recent travels. I was going to call him this week. I will always regret missing that last opportunity to sit down with Bob Edgar who was an inspiration to so many, including myself. He was 69.

Edgar came to Congress as a representative from Pennsylvania in the wake of the Watergate scandal. He later lost a Senate race to Arlen Specter. The Pennsylvania voters made the wrong choice, but it may have worked out for the best because Edgar would become president of Common Cause. He was a brilliant choice and worked tirelessly for this renowned public interest organization. He was a former politician who argued for open government and an ordained minister in the Methodist Church who fought for secular civic values.

I have had a number of wonderful conversations with Bob and always found him to be one of the most thoroughly decent and kind men that I have ever known. He leaves behind a wife of 48 years, Merle Edgar, and his sons Andrew, David and Rob. We were all beneficiaries of Bob’s lifetime work for the public interest and I am deeply grateful to Merle and her familyfor sharing his unique man with us. Few people can point to a legacy like the one left by Bob Edgar. He saw great corruption and injustice and fought to end them. He showed what one determined and principled man can do in his world.

He will be missed.

Jonathan Turley

14 thoughts on “Farewell To Bob Edgar

  1. Unlike our host, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Edgar, but I wish I had. I greatly admire his work with Common Cause. He fought the good fight. He fought for us all. My sincerest condolences to his wife, sons and the rest of his family and those fortunate enough to call him friend. He will be missed. We as citizens must continue to fight injustice and corruption. This duty is how we honor his good works and legacy.

  2. Certainly what Gene said.

    There would be no corruption if everyone stood up and fought against it like this inspiring man did.

  3. Stunned to wake up to this sad, sad news. When I worked for NARAL in the ’80s, I met him and have remained a supporter. May his memory be only for a blessing; may his life be an inspiration for activism for years to come.

  4. I had heard of Edgar, but like Gene, never had the pleasure of meeting him. There is another lesson here too. As I grow older, the need to keep the memories alive, photos taken, and oral histories preserved. And never leave the house mad or without a kiss or a hug for those you love.

  5. Anyone who attempts to make Congress more accountable to the general public deserves my farewell.

    See you on the other side Mr. Edgar (not anytime soon though).

  6. I met Bob Edgar when he visited the St. Louis Ethical Society–I believe last June. In speaking with him I felt the presence of a true humanitarian GIANT. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed. God bless.

  7. Another example of decent men being voted out of office. A credit to him, and a bonus for us, he did not give up the good fight. In San Diego, many of my fellow avid walkers, mostly older folks, wear “Running Sucks” t-shirts.

  8. My condolences on the death of your friend. Mr Edgar was a giant in his field. It was a better country with him.

  9. RIP. America lost a good man. One we cannot afford to lose at times like this.

    I have been doing much thinking lately and I have decided that we need more people such as Mr Edgar or many posters on here, to get involved in the education of our youth.

    While I am a Liberal, I have to complain that often the education system is leaning far too left. At the same time in other regions of the country it is leaning far too right. What is needed is balance. Most of all, teaching our young people the importance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Perhaps if our high school kids were learning more about the Bill of Rights they would be better equipped to either grow into respectable politicians or deal with the corrupt.

    Even if you are not able to become a teacher, perhaps you can become active within your school district in other ways. PTA, School Board, etc etc.

    I would say that while most posters on here are in the end, of all walks of life and all political leanings including Liberals or Conservatives, that most every poster here has a very strong Libertarian streak in them.

    Now I know that there is some disagreement on the 2nd, but to me that is something that can be discussed on forums such as this. That is because I do feel that even people I disagree with in regards to the 2nd, would be much better choices than many school board members or education leaders across the country.

    I would much rather see the people that I argue with over the 2nd, be involved in the education of our youth than the bulk of our system which has no problem suggesting our youth to comply and forfeit their 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments.

    One thing is certain however, losing people like Mr Edgar only weakens the defense of the Bill of Rights. We MUST find young people to replace men such as he. For every Mr Edgar in the country, we should be educating another dozen ready to step into his place.

    This is imperative as the education of our youth is being hijacked by fascism both left and right-wing

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