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Bill Chappell

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Bill Chappell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1989
Preceded bySyd Herlong
Succeeded byCraig James
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
April 4, 1961 – November 9, 1962
Preceded byTom Beasley
Succeeded byMallory Horne
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
November 2, 1954 – November 3, 1964
Preceded byC. Farris Bryant
Succeeded byWilliam G. O'Neill
ConstituencyMarion County
In office
November 8, 1966 – November 5, 1968
Preceded byWilliam G. O'Neill
Succeeded byBuddy MacKay
ConstituencyCitrus, Hernando, Marion, and Sumter Counties (1966–67)
30th district (1967–68)
Personal details
William Venroe Chappell, Jr.

(1922-02-03)February 3, 1922
Kendrick, Florida
DiedMarch 30, 1989(1989-03-30) (aged 67)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseJeane Brown Chappell
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1942–1946 (USN)
1946–1983 (USNR)
Rank Captain

William Venroe Chappell Jr. (February 3, 1922 – March 30, 1989) was an American World War II veteran and Democratic politician from Florida who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1989.[1]

Early life, education and military service


Born in Kendrick, Florida, Chappell graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in 1947 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1949. The Bachelor of Laws was exchanged for a Juris Doctor in 1967.

Military service


He served in the United States Navy, aviator from 1942 to 1946. He retired as a captain from United States Navy Reserve in 1983.


Chappell began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney in Marion County from 1950 to 1954. He later was a member of the law firm of Chappell and Rowland in Ocala.

Chappell represented Marion County in the Florida House of Representatives from 1954 to 1964, and served as Speaker of the House from 1961 to 1963. He did not seek reelection in 1964 but was elected again in 1966 from a district encompassing Marion, Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter Counties.

Congressional career


When incumbent Congressman Syd Herlong retired in 1968, Chappell ran for and was elected to Florida's 4th congressional district. He was re-elected nine times.

Chappell was a moderate to conservative Democrat and served on the United States House Appropriations Committee. At the time of his defeat he was serving as chairman of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

He was defeated in the 1988 general election by Republican Craig James, losing narrowly 50.2–49.8%.[2]

Personal life and legacy


Chappell married the former Jeane Brown on September 28, 1985. He was a resident of Ocala, Florida, until his death in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 30, 1989, from bone cancer.

The Port Orange Causeway, spanning the Halifax River, in Port Orange, Florida, was named the Congressman William V. Chappell Jr. Memorial Bridge by the Florida Legislature in 1989.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Daytona Beach, Florida, was posthumously named after him.


  1. ^ "Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress - Retro Member details". bioguideretro.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  2. ^ "Florida Department of State - Election Results". results.elections.myflorida.com. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress