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 bySteve Gunderson
Robert 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
Evelyn George
(m. 1955)
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, Evelyn, had three daughters.

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.

In 1984, Illinois native, and future congressman from Nebraska Don Bacon interned in Madigan's Washington, D.C., office.[3]


  1. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1971-1972,' Biograpbical Sketch of Edward R. Madigan, pg. 268-269
  2. ^ U.S. Catholic Politicians:
  3. ^ "Brigadier General Donald J. Bacon". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2021.

External links[edit]

Illinois House of Representatives
Preceded by
At-large district abolished
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 47th district

Served alongside: Harber H. Hall, J.W. "Bill" Scott, Gerald A. Bradley
Succeeded by
Clarence E. Neff
A. T. McMaster
Samuel M. McGrew
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

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

Succeeded by
Preceded by Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of Agriculture
Succeeded by