William C. Cramer
American attorney and Republican politicianDied when: 81 years 75 days (974 months)
Star Sign: Leo
William Cato Cramer Sr. (August 4, 1922 – October 18, 2003), was an American attorney and politician, elected in 1954 as a member of the United States House of Representatives from St.
Petersburg, Florida.He was the first Florida Republican elected to Congress since 1880, shortly after the end of Reconstruction.He was re-elected, serving without interruption until 1970.
In Congress Cramer became a ranking member of the Roads subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works, and influenced national highway policy at a time of major expansion, ensuring that Interstates were kept toll-free.
He gained extra funding to link Tampa and Miami, in a federal interstate project built in Florida.He was instrumental in the revival of the Republican Party in Florida through the mid-20th century, taking advantage of the state's changing demographics and new Republican migrants from the Northern United States and the Midwestern United States, and attracting Cuban Americans and other minorities to the party.
Beginning in 1964, Cramer represented the state for 20 years on the Republican National Committee and served as its counsel for six years.
The long absence of Republican officials from state office and weakened condition of the party were due to suppression of black and Republican voting in the 19th century, and the disenfranchisement of African Americans at the turn of the century, as they had constituted the majority of the Republican Party.
Most were not able to vote for decades.They re-entered the political system by gaining the power to vote after passage of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.