Guy Vander Jagt
U. S. Representative, 9th District

Guy VanderJagt was born 26 August 1931, Cadillac, Michigan, the son of Harry and Marie (Copier) VanderJagt. His father was a livestock dealer and farmer who immigrated from the Netherlands.

He was known for his oratorical skill already as a teenager. With his goal of being a minister, he was preaching at Tustin Presbyterian Church while in high school.

Mr. VanderJagt worked his way through Hope College and graduated in 1953 where he was the Michigan debate champion for three consecutive years and national oratorical champion in 1953. He graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1957. He studied at the University of Bonn, Germany for one year and while there decided to run for politics instead of ministry, then he returned to study law at Georgetown University, and transferred to the University of Michigan Law School where he earned his law degree in 1960.

He then went with the law firm Warner, Norcross and Judd, where he met his wife, Carol Doorn.

Soon after their marriage, he was elected Michigan State Senator (1964). Two years later he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives where her served until 1993.

President Nixon picked him to be his personal representative to Asia to outline the Nixon Doctrine. He was later sent on missions to eight African nations.

VanderJagt was a close friend of Gerald R. Ford. They served neighboring districts for many years and he was a close confidant during Fordís presidency.

He was known for his oratorical skill.

He was the second-ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee and chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee for about 14 years helping to make the Republican Party the majority for the first time in 40 years.

The Ways and Means Committee had come under heavy criticism after they were taped on a taxpayer-funded trip to Barbados. Many incumbents came under great scrutiny and he was defeated by Peter Hoeksema in 1992.

Guy VanderJagt died 22 June 2007 of pancreatic cancer inWashington, D. C. Funeral services at Dimnent Memorial Chapel, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, a memorial service to be held in Washington, D. C. A private family burial will take place later in Cadillac, his birthplace.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, and a daughter, Virginia.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 23 November 2007