Charles B. Rangel

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Charles Bernard Rangel

Charles Bernard Rangel (born June 11, 1930) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1971, representing the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York (map ( since 1993 (before that, because of the redrawing of district boundaries, he had represented the Eighteenth District, 1971-1973; Nineteenth District, 1973-1983; and Sixteenth District, 1983-1993). He was born in New York City and served in the United States Army from 1948 to 1952, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War. He attended New York University and obtained a degree in Law from St. John's University.

Rangel served in the New York State Assembly from 1966 to 1970, when he was elected to the House, defeating long-time Representative Adam Clayton Powell in the Democratic primary. In the early 1970s, Rangel was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and participated in the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon. He is now the Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means and Chairman of the Board of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus, where he has also served as chairman, and of which he continues to be a member. He is currently the fourth-longest serving Democratic House member, behind John Dingell, John Conyers and Dave Obey.

Rangel is also noteworthy for his willingness to risk arrest for participating in political protests. Most recently, on July 13, 2004, he was the first of three sitting US House members to be arrested on trespassing charges, for protesting alleged human rights abuses in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, nearly two decades after he was arrested for participating in an anti-apartheid rally in front of the South African Embassy in Washington. On March 15, 1999, Congressman Rangel was arrested along with two other prominent African-American leaders (civil rights activist Al Sharpton and Former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins), for protesting the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, an African-American by four white New York City police officers. Later in the week of July 13, 2004, Congressman Bobby Rush of Illinois and Congressman Joe Hoeffel of Pennsylvania would also be arrested at the Sudanese Embassy.

Rangel is a prominent member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

Legislation sponsored by Rangel

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