Charles B. Rangel

Charles Bernard "Charlie" Rangel ( /ˈræŋɡəl/; born June 11, 1930) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 15th congressional district, serving since 1971. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the third-longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives. As its most senior member, he is also the Dean of New York's congressional delegation. In January 2007, Rangel became Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the first African-American to do so. He is also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rangel was born in Harlem in New York City, and had a somewhat troubled childhood. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he led a group of soldiers out of a deadly Chinese Army encirclement during the Battle of Kunu-ri in 1950. Rangel graduated from New York University in 1957, and St. John's University School of Law in 1960. He then worked as a private lawyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and legal counsel during the early-mid 1960s. He served two terms in the New York State Assembly, from 1967 to 1970, and then defeated long-time incumbent Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

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