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Paul Findley

In this April 1978 file photo, President Jimmy Carter talks with a group in the White House Rose Garden after signing a law barring mandatory retirement before age 70. Behind Carter, to the left, is Rep. Paul Findley, R-Ill. (AP Photo/Harvey Georges, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — Former Republican Rep. Paul Findley, who spent 22 years in Congress, has died at age 98.

The State Journal-Register reports that Findley, whose district for a time included part of the St. Louis metro area, died Friday at a hospital in Jacksonville.

Findley supported civil rights, opposed the Vietnam War and advocated for agriculture and engagement with Palestinians and others in the Arab world.

Sen. Dick Durbin called Findley "an elected official who showed exceptional courage in tackling the age-old controversies in the Middle East."

Durbin, a Democrat, defeated Findley in 1982 for a House seat.

Findley was born in Jacksonville. He graduated from Illinois College and was a Navy lieutenant in the Pacific during World War II. He was elected to Congress in 1960.

Findley is survived by a son, Craig; a daughter, Diane; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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