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Robert Jan Mrazek
Born November 6, 1945 (1945-11-06) (age 64)
Newport, Rhode Island
Residence Ithaca, New York Centerport, New York
Nationality  United States
Education A.B., 1967
Alma mater Cornell University
Occupation small businessman
politician
writer
Home town Huntington, New York
Title U.S. Representative from New York
Term 1983–1993
Successor Peter T. King
Political party Democratic party (United States)
Board member of Alaska Wilderness League, Co-founder, Chairman, (1993-2006), Finger Lakes land Trust, Chairman, Advisory Council, (2003-present)
Spouse(s) Catherine Susan (1949-2004, her death), Carolyn Rae (2005-present)
Children Susannah Rose, James Nicholas
Parents Harold Richard and Blanche Rose Mrazek
Notes

Robert Jan Mrazek (born November 6, 1945 in Newport, Rhode Island) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the New York's 3rd congressional district on Long Island for most of the 1980s. Also an author, he has written works of military fiction, set in the time periods of the American Civil War and World War II.

Contents

Biography

Mrazek grew up in Huntington, New York, graduating from Cornell University (1967). He joined the United States Navy to serve in the Vietnam War, but was disabled by a training injury at OCS in Newport. After a period of hospitalization with wounded Marines, he turned against the war.[2] Afer his 1968 discharge he was an aide to U.S. Senator Vance Hartke (1969–1971).[1]

He was elected to Suffolk County legislature, 1975–1982 and became its minority leader. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, 1980.

Democrat Mrazek was first elected in 1982 to the 98th United States Congress, defeating John LeBoutillier,[3] a one term Conservative Republican Congressman in the 3rd district.[citation needed] (The districts had been redrawn to reflect the U.S. Census, 1980.)

Mrazek served in the House from 1983 until he retired in 1993. Freshman members usually do not sit on the House Appropriations Committee, but Mrazek persuaded Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O'Neill to make an exception for him.[4]

Legislation

Mrazek wote laws to preserve 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km2) of old-growth forest in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, to protect the Manassas Civil War battlefield in Virginia. He wrote the Amerasian Homecoming Act, which brought home the children of American military personnel from Vietnam, and the National Film Preservation Act, which established the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress.[2][5] He was proud of legislation to hamper the U.S. Government's ability to intervene in Nicaragua.[5] For his conservation and preservation work, Mrazek was named Conservationist of the Year in 1988 by the National Parks and Conservation Association. He was awarded the Commissioner’s Preservationist Award from the Governor of New York in 1990, and the first legislative achievement award from the Director’s Guild of America in 1987.

Mrazek was caught up in the 1992 House banking affair, in which more than 300 members of Congress cumulatively overdrew their accounts at the House bank more than thirty thousand times over a 39 month period. Mrazek was later the subject of a New York Times editorial titled, “Overdrafts and Overkill,” in which the editors wrote, “Consider the case of Bob Mrazek, the capable Long Island democrat who was forced to abandon his underdog campaign for the Senate last week. He was cited for 920 overdrafts. Yet he did not bounce a single check. And House bank records show he paid up promptly. This record offers scant basis for a cloud over his reputation.”[5]

Author

Since retiring from Congress, Mrazek has published three critically-acclaimed novels and a well received[6] non-fiction account of Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8) in the Pacific War — especially in the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal Campaign. This work, A Dawn Like Thunder, was named a "Best Book of 2009" (American History) by the Washington Post[7], and a Notable Book by Naval Proceedings. Stonewall's Gold won the 2000 Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. Deadly Embrace won the 2007 W.Y. Boyd Literary Award "For Excellence in Military Fiction" from the American Library Association.

Publications

Adapted for audio (six cassettes), read by Jeff Woodman, Recorded Books, 1999.

References

  1. ^ a b "Robert J. Mrazek." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Entry updated: 05/29/2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-08-23.
  2. ^ a b "A Dawn Like Thunder - about the author". http://www.adawnlikethunder.com/author.html. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  3. ^ Guthrie, Benjamin J. (1983). "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1982". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 27. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/1982election.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  4. ^ Hymel, Gary; Tip O'Neill (January 23, 1994). "All Politics is Local and other Rules of the Game". http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1184. Retrieved 2009-08-23. "And Tip went out of his way to help the Democrat in that area, Bob Mrazek, who was then elected. As a matter of fact, Mrazek told a story about how he went in to see Tip for a committee assignment. He was a freshman; I don't think Tip had ever met him. So he goes in and he says, "I want to be on Appropriations." Tip says, "No. No freshman will get on Appropriations this year. There will be none. So what else do you want?" Mrazek says, "I'm the guy who beat Leboutillier." Tip says, "Have you thought about majority leader?" The Hymel reference is to a humorous speech Mrazek delivered as a freshman congressman to the Washington Correspondent's Dinner in December 1982, in which Mrazek spoke about how he won a coveted spot on Appropriations." 
  5. ^ a b c "Overdrafts and Overkill: Capitol Punishment for the House Bank". New York Times. April 16, 1992. 
  6. ^ Bateman, Robert (February 3, 2009). "History on the Wing". Washington Post: p. C07. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/02/AR2009020203296.html. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  7. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named http:.2F.2Fwww.washingtonpost.com.2Fwp-srv.2Fartsandliving.2Ffeatures.2F2008.2Fholiday-guide.2Fgifts.2Fbest-books-of-2009.2Fy; see Help:Cite error.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gregory W. Carman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd congressional district

1983–1993
Succeeded by
Peter T. King

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