George W. Collins

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George W. Collins
George Washington Collins.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 6th district
In office
November 3, 1970 – December 8, 1972
Preceded by Daniel J. Ronan
Succeeded by Harold R. Collier
Personal details
Born March 5, 1925
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died December 8, 1972(1972-12-08) (aged 47)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cardiss Collins (m. 1958–72)

George Washington Collins (March 5, 1925 – December 8, 1972) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois serving from 1970 until he was killed in a plane crash in Chicago, Illinois in 1972.


Collins was born in Chicago, and served with the Army engineers in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Collins held positions with the Cook County sheriff’s department, the municipal court system, and the Board of Health, and as administrative assistant to health commissioner prior to being sent to Congress.

Political career[edit]

From 1964–1970, Collins served as a member of the Chicago city council. Collins was then elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Rep. Daniel J. Ronan and reelected to the succeeding Congress and served until his death.

Death and legacy[edit]

Collins died on December 8, 1972 when United Airlines Flight 553 crashed on approach to Chicago Midway International Airport. Collins was a passenger on the flight. His wife Cardiss Collins was elected to his seat (which had been redistricted to the 7th district) shortly thereafter. Cardiss Collins was the first African American woman to represent a midwestern district in Congress, and served in the House of Representatives from 1973 until her retirement in 1997, a tenure of over 33 years. 1976, The Chicago Public Schools opened Collins Academy High School, a public high school in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood in his honor. [1]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel J. Ronan
U.S. Representative of Illinois's 6th Congressional District
1970 - 1972
Succeeded by
Harold R. Collier