Edward Rell Madigan

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Ed Madigan
Edward Rell Madigan - USDA portrait.png
24th United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
March 8, 1991 – January 20, 1993
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byClayton Yeutter
Succeeded byMike Espy
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1989
LeaderBob Michel
Preceded byTom Loeffler
Succeeded byRobert Smith Walker
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois
In office
January 3, 1973 – March 8, 1991
Preceded byWilliam L. Springer (Redistricting)
Succeeded byThomas W. Ewing
Constituency21st District (1973-1983)
15th District (1983-1991)
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1936-01-13)January 13, 1936
Lincoln, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 7, 1994(1994-12-07) (aged 58)
Springfield, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Evelyn George (1955–1994)
EducationLincoln College, Illinois

Edward Rell "Ed" Madigan (January 13, 1936 – December 7, 1994) was a businessman and a Republican Party politician from Lincoln, Illinois. He served almost twenty years in the United States House of Representatives and was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President George H. W. Bush.

Early life, education, and politics[edit]

Madigan was born in Lincoln on January 13, 1936. He attended Lincoln [Junior] College before starting his own taxicab business. He entered public service as a member of the Lincoln Board of Zoning Appeals from 1965 to 1969. During that time, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served from 1967 to 1973.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture[edit]

In November, 1972, he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives, and was subsequently elected to nine more terms. Madigan narrowly lost the race for Minority Whip in 1989 to future Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Madigan served in Congress from 1973 to 1991, when Clayton Keith Yeutter resigned, and Madigan was appointed Secretary of Agriculture. Serving from 1991 to 1993, Madigan was the first Roman Catholic to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

He died of complications from lung cancer on December 7, 1994 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois at the age of 58. He and his wife, Mrs. Evelyn M. Madigan had three daughters: (Kimberly Madigan, of Washington, D.C., Kellie Clapper, of Bloomington, Illinois and Mary Elizabeth Gyori, of Leawood, Kansas).

In 1995, Edward R. Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area, a state park near Lincoln, was renamed in Madigan's honor. Edward Madigan came from a politically active family. His younger brother Robert Madigan served as the City Clerk for Lincoln, Illinois for several terms, then sat in the Illinois State Senate for 14 years and finally concluded his public service with a brief term on the Illinois Commerce Commission.

When asked for the "secret of success," Representative Madigan answered, "Attention to detail."


  1. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1971-1972,' Biograpbical Sketch of Edward R. Madigan, pg. 268-269
  2. ^ U.S. Catholic Politicians:

External links[edit]

  • United States Congress. "Edward Rell Madigan (id: M000041)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kenneth J. Gray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

Succeeded by
Melvin Price
Preceded by
Tom Corcoran
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas W. Ewing
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Loeffler
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
Succeeded by
Robert Smith Walker
Political offices
Preceded by
Clayton Yeutter
United States Secretary of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Mike Espy