Gerry Studds Dies at 69; First Openly Gay Congressman





Gerry E. Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress and a demanding advocate for New England fishermen and for gay rights, died early Saturday at Boston University Medical Center, his husband said.

The cause was a vascular illness that led Mr. Studds to collapse while walking his dog on Oct. 3 in Boston. He was 69.

From 1973 to 1997, Mr. Studds (whose first name was pronounced GAIR-ee) represented the Massachusetts district where he grew up, covering Cape Cod and the barnacled old fishing towns near the coast. He was the first Democrat to win the district in 50 years, and over the course of 12 terms, he sponsored several laws that helped protect local fisheries and create national parks along the Massachusetts shore.

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