Frank Rodriguez, 86

Activist, politician


Frank Rodriguez, a labor activist and the first Hispanic elected to the Minnesota House, died Friday. He was 86.

Mr. Rodriguez had suffered a heart attack, his grandson said.


He lived most of his life on the west side of St. Paul, where he was widely known for his work on behalf of Hispanics and for his pioneering election to the House in 1979.

Mr. Rodriguez worked in construction as a young man before becoming recording secretary and then secretary-treasurer of Construction and General Laborers Local 132 for more than 30 years.

In his first bid for public office, he was elected to the House in a June 1979 special election, defeating a five-term Independent-Republican legislative veteran.

His election as the first Hispanic member of the Legislature prompted allegations of voting irregularities and countercharges of racism, but an investigation found no voter fraud.

ANTONIO PIERRO, 110 World War I veteran

Antonio Pierro, who was believed to be the last remaining World War I veteran in Massachusetts and among the last in the country, died Thursday morning in a Salem nursing home, his nephew said. He would have celebrated his 111th birthday Thursday.

Jim Benson of the federal Veterans Administration Department of Veterans Affairs, said Mr. Pierro's death leaves only seven World War I veterans on VA rolls nationwide.

Guinness World Records gerontology consultant Robert Young said Mr. Pierro was the oldest war veteran and the oldest U.S. man in its records.


Mr. Pierro emigrated from Italy in 1914 and was drafted into the Army in 1917. He served for 18 months and saw action as an artilleryman in France.