U.S. Rep. Julia Carson died Saturday following a battle with lung cancer.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Julia Carson died Saturday following a battle with lung cancer.
Carson, D-Indiana, died at home, said family spokesman Vanessa Summers. She was 69.
Carson had been away from Washington since she was admitted to an Indianapolis hospital September 21 for about a week. Her office had said at that time that she had deep infection in her leg, near a spot where a vein was removed in January 1997 when she underwent double heart bypass surgery just weeks after she was first elected to Congress.
Carson announced Nov. 26 that she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and that she would not run next year for a seventh term representing the city of Indianapolis.
She had said in a statement that she expected to return to Washington after recuperation, but a doctor then diagnosed her with lung cancer.
"It had gone into remission years before, but it was back with a terminal vengeance," Carson said in the statement.
Funeral arrangements were pending.
Carson also had suffered in recent years from high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. She missed dozens of House votes in 2004 because of illness and spent the weekend before the 2004 election in the hospital for what she said was a flu shot reaction — but still won re-election by 10 percentage points.
Carson, who grew up in poverty and attended an all-black Indianapolis high school, became the first black and first woman to represent Indianapolis in Congress when she won her first term in
Carson was born to a single mother who worked as a housekeeper. She graduated in 1955 from Crispus Attucks High School, attending the segregated school at the same time as basketball star Oscar Robertson.
She began her political career in the 1960s, when then-U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs Jr. hired the United Auto Workers secretary to work in his office. It was Jacobs who encouraged Carson to run for the Indiana Legislature in 1972 — the first of her more than two dozen victories in local, legislative and congressional elections.
She ran for Congress in 1996 when Jacobs decided to retire after three decades in the House.
Thoughts and prayers are with the Carson loved ones.