Former Rep. Robert N. Giaimo, a Connecticut Democrat who helped create the national endowments for the arts and humanities, has died. He was 86.

Giaimo died Wednesday just outside Washington in Arlington, Va., from lung ailments, said his daughter, Barbara Giaimo Koones. He represented the New Haven area in Congress from 1959 to 1981.

Giaimo co-sponsored the bill that in 1965 created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, separate grant-making agencies that support the nation's arts and the study of such subjects as literature, history and philosophy.

"He was a hardworking congressman who never sought the spotlight," Koones said Thursday from her home in Potomac, Md. "My father really believed in public service, not making the buck. He was an extremely well-respected man."

Born Oct. 15, 1919, in New Haven, Giaimo graduated from Fordham College in 1941 and the University of Connecticut in 1943. An Army veteran and attorney, he won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1958.

He retired from Congress after 11 terms and returned to the practice of law in Washington, living in Arlington.

Survivors in addition to Koones are his wife, Marion Schuenemann Giaimo, and a granddaughter, Tracy Elizabeth Phillips. A funeral was planned next week in Connecticut.