WASHINGTON, May 4, 2014 – Former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., a one-time chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, died yesterday at his home in Potomac, Maryland. He was 79.

Oberstar was elected to Congress in 1974 and represented his district in northeastern Minnesota for 18 terms, taking over the Transportation Committee in 2006. In 2010, he lost his seat to Republican Chip Cravaack as part of the Republican takeover of the U.S. House.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said that Oberstar dedicated his career to “improving America's infrastructure, creating opportunity for hardworking Minnesotans, and building a strong economy for future generations of Americans.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also a Democrat, praised Oberstar for his work in establishing a network of biking and hiking trails in their home state, and for his work in building and improving the national transportation infrastructure.

“Every American who bikes the Minnesota bike trails, hikes the Lake Superior trail, and drives our national highways and bridges should remember Jim today," she said.

Oberstar is survived by his wife, Jean, four children and eight grandchildren.


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