Former Nebraska Rep. John McCollister dies at 92

Nov 1, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Former Rep. John Y. McCollister, who defeated a sitting congressman to win office and later gave Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel his first Washington job, has died at age 92.

John S. McCollister says his father died at 5 a.m. Friday after a long battle with cancer.

McCollister, of Omaha, was a three-term congressman who served from 1971 to 1977.

The plain-spoken McCollister handed Rep. Glen Cunningham the only electoral defeat of his career when McCollister won the Republican nomination in 1971. Cunningham had served Omaha's 2nd District for seven terms before McCollister beat him and won the general election.

McCollister was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa.

He hired Hagel as an aide. Hagel has credited McCollister with shaping many of his views.

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