Former VA Sec. Ed Derwinski of Chicago dies

January 18, 2012 6:14:15 AM PST
Ed Derwinski, a popular longtime South Side politician and the nation's first secretary of veterans affairs, has died.

Derwinski served 24 years in Congress. He grew up on the South Side and was active in fostering relations between the United States and Poland.

He served as secretary of veterans affairs until 1992 when he resigned to join the re-election campaign for Pres. George H.W. Bush.

Derwinski died of cancer Sunday at 85 years old.