HONORING RONALD V. DELLUMS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 149
(Extensions of Remarks - September 07, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1224]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       HONORING RONALD V. DELLUMS


                               speech of

                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 6, 2018

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise to 
remember and pay tribute to Ronald V. Dellums, the pioneering, 
legendary, brilliant, and dynamic former Chairman of the House Armed 
Services Committee who represented the residents of California's 9th 
Congressional District in this body for 27 years.
  Ronald Dellums died peacefully on July 30, 2018, at his home in 
Washington D.C. after waging a heroic but losing battle against 
prostate cancer; he was 82 years old.
  Born November 24, 1935 in Oakland, California, to Verney and Willa 
Dellums, Ronald Vernie Dellums would go on to lead a consequential life 
marked by public service, active engagement, and passionate leadership.
  These qualities--service, engagement, passionate commitment--were 
Dellums family traits; Ron's father was a longshoreman and active in 
the labor movement and his uncle, Cottrell Laurence Dellums, helped A. 
Philip Randolph organize the Brother of Sleeping Car Porters, before 
being elected President of the union in 1966.
  In 1954, after graduating from high school, and during the height of 
the Cold War, Ronald Dellums enlisted in the United States Marine Corps 
and served two years before being honorably discharged in 1956.
  His honorable service to the nation enabled him to attend college on 
the G.I. Bill and in 1958 he earned an Associate of Arts degree from 
Oakland City College, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in 1960 
from San Francisco State University, an M.S.W. from the University of 
California at Berkeley in 1962.
  Upon graduation from UC-Berkeley, Ronald Dellums worked as a 
psychiatric social worker for the California Department of Mental 
Hygiene and taught at San Francisco State University and the University 
of California at Berkeley, work which soon led him to become involved 
in local politics.
  In 1967, at the age of 32, Ronald was elected to the Berkeley City 
Council, where he served until 1970, when he was elected to Congress as 
an anti-Vietnam War activist, defeating the incumbent in the primary, 
and winning the general election in a landslide.
  In 1972, Ronald Dellums was reelected to the 93rd Congress and to the 
succeeding Congresses, never winning election with less than 57 percent 
of the vote.
  During his tenure in Congress, Ronald Dellums served on the House 
Committees on Foreign Affairs, the District of Columbia, Post Office 
and Civil Service, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and 
Armed Services, which he chaired from 1993 to 1995 and was Ranking 
Member from 1995 until his retirement from the House in 1998.
  Throughout his congressional career, Ronald Dellums, who cofounded 
the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 and the Congressional 
Progressive Caucus in 1991, was one of the Capitol's leading 
authorities and voices challenging the underlying assumptions of the 
U.S. military budget.
  Ronald Dellums also led the congressional opposition to the apartheid 
regime in South Africa, winning passage of the Comprehensive Anti-
Apartheid Act of 1986 by congressional override of President Reagan's 
veto, the first override in the 20th century of a presidential foreign 
policy veto.
  Ronald Dellums championed for equal rights for Americans and was one 
of the first to call for the integration of gays and lesbians into the 
  In addition to championing equal rights, Ron Dellums was a strong 
supporter of historic preservation.
  He emerged as one of the most radical and outspoken Congressmen in 
Washington, and a spokesperson for African American community affairs 
and for his radical political beliefs.
  After retiring from Congress in 1998, Ronald Dellums served as 
president of Healthcare International Management, an organization that 
worked with the newly democratic South African government to develop 
low cost, affordable healthcare and bring awareness, prevention and 
treatment in response to the AIDS epidemic.
  Mr. Speaker, Ron Dellums lived a long and fulfilling life and made 
his mark in the world by making a difference in the lives of untold 
numbers of individuals.
  I hope that Ron's family and loved ones are comforted by the fact 
that the lives of millions of people here at home and around the world 
were touched by the service of one of the great social activists, 
political leaders, and statesmen of the 20th century.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to observe a moment of silence in memory 
of Ronald V. Dellums, a tireless and eloquent voice for justice and 
equality, who did so much to ensure that America always strives to live 
up to the promise of its founding ideals and remain a beacon and 
example for the world.