Rostenkowski recalled as Chicago pillar
CHICAGO — Inside the Chicago church where he was baptized and confirmed, former US representative Dan Rostenkowski was remembered yesterday as a guy from the neighborhood who just happened to be one of the most powerful men in the nation.
An 18-term congressman whose illustrious political career ended with an ignominious corruption conviction and prison stint, Rostenkowski had been one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. He was credited with pushing through a 1986 overhaul of the nation’s tax system and leading the 1983 effort to rescue Social Security from insolvency.
His funeral Mass — which was attended by hundreds of people including Mayor Richard Daley and New York congressman Charles Rangel — was a formal send-off for a onetime pillar of American power. But it felt like a gathering of old friends, who told stories about a man known as “Poppi’’ to his only grandson and as “Danny,’’ “Rosty,’’ and “Boss’’ to his colleagues and friends.
Rostenkowski died Aug. 11 of lung cancer.