December 30, 2008

Bobby Rush biography


Bobby Lee Rush (born November 23, 1946) is an American politician from Illinois. A Democrat, he has served in the United States House of Representatives as the member from Illinois' 1st congressional district since 1993. Rush's district is located principally on the South Side of Chicago. It is a minority-majority district and has a higher percentage of African American (65 percent) than any other congressional district in the nation. He is the only person ever to defeat President-elect Barack Obama in an election for any office.

Rush is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as a former Black Panther.


Rush was born in Albany, Georgia. He was educated at Roosevelt University (bachelor's degree), the University of Illinois at Chicago (master's degree) and McCormick Theological Seminary (theology degree), all of which are in Chicago. He served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1968, was a co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and was an insurance agent and member of the Chicago City Council before entering the House.

Rush was involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1966 to 1968. Rush was a co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party in 1968. While a Black Panther, he operated Free Breakfast for Children program. He also coordinated the pioneering Free Medical Clinic, which developed the nation's first mass sickle cell disease testing program. Rush is also a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. the 5th largest historically black fraternity in the world.

Rush ran for mayor of Chicago in 1999 but was defeated by the incumbent Richard M. Daley.[1]

In the 2000 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives (IL-01), Rush defeated challenger and then state senator Barack Obama [2], who was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, and later to the Presidency of the United States in 2008. During the primary, Rush said "Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it."[3]

On July 15, 2004, Rush became the second sitting member of Congress (following Charles Rangel and preceding Joe Hoeffel) to be arrested for trespassing while protesting the genocide in Darfur and other violations of human rights in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy.[4][5]

Following Barack Obama's election as President and resignation as Senator, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (or his successor if a resignation or an impeachment is to be expected) will appoint an individual to fill the remaining two years of Obama's term in the Senate. Congressman Rush says that Obama's Senate replacement should also be African American.[6] During a press conference, Rush said, "With the resignation of President-elect Obama, we now have no African American in the United States Senate, and we believe it will be a national disgrace to not have this seat filled by one of the many capable African American Illinois politicians."[7] Rush said he does not support any one individual in particular for Senate, and is not interested in being appointed himself.[7][6] On December 30, 2008, Blagojevich announced his appointment of Roland Burris, an African American former Attorney General of Illinois. Rush was present at the press conference and spoke in support of Burris.[8]

Source: Wikipedia

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