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James Delaney; Held Congress Seat 16 Terms

May 30, 1987|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Former Rep. James J. Delaney, the 16-term Democratic congressman from Queens whose accomplishments included a ban on cancer-causing additives in food and federal help for New York City's fiscal crisis, has died at age 86.

Delaney, a former chairman of the House Rules Committee, had lived in Key Biscayne, Fla., since his retirement in 1978, and died there Sunday.

Colleagues said that passage of the Delaney Amendment to a 1957 food safety bill, outlawing cancer-causing additives in food, was the crowning achievement of Delaney's career.

Helped Solve Crisis

As chairman of the New York City congressional delegation in the mid-1970s, he also was instrumental in shaping federal legislation that helped rescue the city from a financial crisis.

Delaney was first elected to Congress in 1944. He was defeated once in 1946 but afterward won 15 consecutive elections, surviving several redrawings of the map of his district in western Queens.

After he retired, his district was represented by Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate.

A native of New York City, he received a law degree from St. John's University in 1932 and from 1936 until he went to Congress eight years later was an assistant in the Queens district attorney's office.

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