Lionel Van Deerlin, 93
Lionel Van Deerlin, a former California congressman who served nine terms during the 1960s and '70s before returning to his journalism roots by writing political columns for the San Diego Union-Tribune, died Saturday at his home, two days after slipping into a coma, the newspaper reported.
He was elected to Congress in 1962 as a Democrat in a region dominated by Republican lawmakers.
Mr. Van Deerlin championed congressional ethics and was among the first congressional leaders to voluntarily disclose his personal financial records.
He pushed for revisions in federal law that allowed California to set tougher emission standards than the rest of the nation, he served as chairman of the House subcommittee on communications and he helped create C-SPAN, the cable network that broadcasts live proceedings in the House and Senate.
Van Deerlin lost his seat in 1980, when he was defeated by Republican Duncan Hunter.
Before entering politics, Mr. Van Deerlin worked in journalism and served in the Army. When he left Washington, he taught communications classes at San Diego State University and wrote for the Union-Tribune.