Edward Rell Madigan

Edward Rell "Ed" Madigan (January 13, 1936 – December 7, 1994) was a businessman and a Republican Party politician from Lincoln, Illinois. He served almost twenty years in the United States House of Representatives and was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President George H. W. Bush.

Ed Madigan
Edward Rell Madigan - USDA portrait
24th United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
March 8, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Clayton Yeutter
Succeeded by Mike Espy
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1989
Leader Bob Michel
Preceded by Tom Loeffler
Succeeded by Robert Smith Walker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – March 8, 1991
Preceded by Tom Corcoran
Succeeded by Thomas W. Ewing
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Kenneth J. Gray
Succeeded by Melvin Price
Personal details
Born January 13, 1936
Lincoln, Illinois, U.S.
Died December 7, 1994 (aged 58)
Springfield, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Evelyn George (1955–1994)
Children 3
Education Lincoln College, Illinois

Early life, education and politics

Madigan was born in Lincoln on January 13, 1936. He attended Lincoln [Junior] College before starting his own taxicab business. He entered public service as a member of the Lincoln Board of Zoning Appeals from 1965 to 1969. During that time, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served from 1967 to 1973.

U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

In November, 1972, he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives, and was subsequently elected to nine more terms. Madigan narrowly lost the race for Minority Whip in 1989 to future Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Madigan served in Congress from 1973 to 1991, when Clayton Keith Yeutter resigned, and Madigan was appointed Secretary of Agriculture. Serving from 1991 to 1993, Madigan was the first Roman Catholic to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.[1]

Death and legacy

He died of complications from lung cancer on December 7, 1994 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois at the age of 58. He and his wife, Mrs. Evelyn M. Madigan had three daughters: (Kimberly Madigan, of Washington, D.C., Kellie Clapper, of Bloomington, Illinois and Mary Elizabeth Gyori, of Leawood, Kansas).

In 1995, Edward R. Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area, a state park near Lincoln, was renamed in Madigan's honor. Edward Madigan came from a politically active family. His younger brother Robert Madigan served as the City Clerk for Lincoln, Illinois for several terms, then sat in the Illinois State Senate for 14 years and finally concluded his public service with a brief term on the Illinois Commerce Commission.

When asked for the "secret of success," Representative Madigan answered, "Attention to detail."


  1. ^ U.S. Catholic Politicians:

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kenneth J. Gray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

Succeeded by
Melvin Price
Preceded by
Tom Corcoran
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas W. Ewing
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Loeffler
House Republican Chief Deputy Whip
Succeeded by
Robert Smith Walker
Political offices
Preceded by
Clayton Yeutter
United States Secretary of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Mike Espy

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