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Robert E. Sweeney, former congressman, dies at 82


CLEVELAND — Robert E. Sweeney, a former congressman and Democratic candidate for Ohio attorney general, has died. He was 82.
Sweeney died Saturday at his home in Gates Mills after battling numerous illnesses that began with a heart attack in 1999, said his wife, Kathryn Sweeney.
Sweeney was a Democratic nominee for Ohio attorney general in 1962 and 1966, losing both times to Republican William Saxbe, who went on to become U.S. attorney general under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, said his son, Robert P. Sweeney.
He held an at-large seat in the U.S. Congress from 1965 to 1967. The seat was then eliminated by redistricting.
After serving four years as a Cuyahoga County commissioner, Sweeney left public office in 1980 and focused on his law firm, helping to found the Asbestos Litigation Group, a group of lawyers specializing in health-related asbestos claims.
“He was just a wonderful person who always thought of others before he thought of himself,” his wife said.
Sweeney was born in Cleveland in 1924, the son of Martin Sweeney, an Ohio congressman who served in the 1930s and 1940s. He’s survived by 13 children, two stepchildren and 37 grandchildren.

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