Former Mo. House Speaker Rabbitt Dies

6 years 4 days 9 hours ago Monday, December 12 2011 Dec 12, 2011 Monday, December 12, 2011 6:36:00 AM CST December 12, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

KIRKWOOD (AP) - A funeral mass will be Wednesday in Kirkwood for Richard J. Rabbitt, who served as speaker of the Missouri House in the 1970s before going to prison on federal corruption charges.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rabbitt died Friday of heart failure at age 76.

Rabbitt was elected to the House in 1960 and served eight terms, including three terms as majority floor leader and two terms as speaker, from 1973 to 1976. He quit the House to run for lieutenant governor in 1976, narrowly losing.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1977 on charges that he took kickbacks through his law firm in connection with influencing legislation. He was convicted and spent 16 months in prison.

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