INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Jacobs Jr., a former longtime Indiana congressman, died Saturday afternoon at age 81, according to a family spokesman.
Gary Taylor, a family friend and former campaign manager for Jacobs, said the former Democratic lawmaker had died earlier in the day at his Indianapolis home. Taylor said Jacobs had experienced declining health in recent years. He said the death was likely due to complications from old age rather than any single cause.
"He was a great man," Taylor said.
According to his congressional biography, Jacobs served in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1959-60, and then the U.S. House from 1965-73, and again from 1975-97.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence praised Jacobs career in a statement released Saturday evening.
Jacobs "personified the kind of principled and compassionate leadership that Hoosiers most admire, and he will be greatly missed," Pence said. Pence highlighted Jacobs work on the Civil Rights Act of 1965 as well as Social Security and Medicare.
Jacobs was a Marine who fought during the Korean War from 1950-52. Taylor said Jacobs was a disabled combat veteran but refused all disability compensation while in office.
"He didn't think it was right to take that money, since he had a job with a good wage," Taylor said. "He was frugal, and that's something I think the public really seemed to take to about him."
Jacobs was born in Indianapolis on Feb. 24, 1932, according to his congressional biography. He graduated high school in Indianapolis in 1949. After his military service, Jacobs attended Indiana University, receiving a law degree in 1958.