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Thomas J. Meskill, 79; Connecticut governor became a federal judge

October 30, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Thomas J. Meskill, 79, a former Connecticut Republican congressman and governor who later served as a federal judge, died of a heart attack Monday at a hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Meskill, who served as mayor of New Britain, Conn., from 1962 to 1964, was elected to Congress in 1966. He represented the now-defunct 6th District in northwestern Connecticut and served until 1970.

He was elected governor later that year -- the first Republican to hold the office in 16 years -- and in 1975 President Ford named him a judge on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Born in New Britain on Jan. 30, 1928, Meskill graduated from Trinity College in Hartford in 1950. He then enlisted in the Air Force and served in Alaska during the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1956 and practiced law in New Britain.

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