Gus Yatron

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Gus Yatron
GYatron6.JPG
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by George Rhodes
Succeeded by Tim Holden
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 3, 1961 – November 30, 1968
Preceded by Frank Ruth
Succeeded by Robert Gerhart
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the Berks County district
In office
January 1, 1957 – November 30, 1959
Personal details
Born (1927-10-16)October 16, 1927
Reading, Pennsylvania
Died March 13, 2003(2003-03-13) (aged 75)
Fairfax Station, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mildred L. Yatron
Alma mater Kutztown University
Profession Legislator, Businessman, Boxer
Religion Greek Orthodox

Constantine "Gus" Yatron (October 16, 1927 – March 13, 2003) was an American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Democratic Party, Yatron represented the 6th congressional district of Pennsylvania for twelve terms, from 1969 until his retirement in 1993.

Early Life & Family[edit]

Gus Yatron was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, to George H. and Theano Lazo Yatron, working-class Greek immigrants from the Greek city of Mytilene, of the island Lesbos. His father, George, was a carpenter and his mother, Theano, worked as a maid. Yatron graduated from Reading High School, serving as class president during his senior year. Following high school, Yatron received his bachelor’s degree at Kutztown University in 1950, where he also met his wife to be, Mildred L. Yatron. While attending Kutztown University, Yatron played college football for the Golden Bears, and was later inducted into the Kutztown University Athletic Hall of Fame. During his college years, he also took up boxing, becoming a heavyweight division professional boxer in 1947, with a professional career record of 13-2-1, nine of which were TKO. After graduating from college, Yatron ran 'Yatron Ice Cream,' the business he founded with his father and built it into a local success in his home town, eventually expanding the business with an additional hardware store. In 1968, he sold 'Yatron Ice Cream' to a local competitor and began to focus on his career in political public service.

Political career[edit]

Yatron started his career in public service on the Reading School Board from 1955 to 1961. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1956 until 1960, when he was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate. In 1968, Campaigning as a moderate in support of fiscal responsibility and opposition to further military involvement in the Vietnam War, Yatron was elected to the 91st United States Congress, representing the 6th congressional district of Pennsylvania. Upon entering office, Yatron quick made a name for himself as a workhorse for his constituency. His first major legislation, in 1971, expanded black lung benefits and extended eligibility requirements for afflicted miners, their widows and children. Yatron sponsored legislation, signed into law in 1975, which set up a committee to review the volume of paper wasted in U.S. federal government and offer recommendations to reduce that waste. After its investigation, the Paperwork Commission made recommendations that resulted in savings of $3.5 billion. As a Greek-American, Yatron found personal hardship during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. As one in a few Greek-Americans in the U.S. Congress, he took leadership in implementing U.S. assistance that ultimately led to a cease-fire in the region. In 1973, Yatron traveled to Europe delivering a speech to the European Parliament in France, urging NATO countries to take more initiative in absorbing the costs of defending Europe. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Yatron became a passionate advocate for centering human rights as the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. He took the chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs in 1979 and began investigations into the Iran-Contra affair. In 1983, Yatron become the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight. After serving 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Yatron retired in 1992.

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