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Richard Kelly (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Kelly
Congressman Richard Kelly.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byBill Gunter
Succeeded byBill McCollum
Personal details
Born(1924-07-31)July 31, 1924
Atlanta, Georgia
DiedAugust 22, 2005(2005-08-22) (aged 81)
Stevensville, Montana
Political partyRepublican
  • (Unknown)
  • Loraine
  • Judy
  • Claire
  • Kelly
Alma materUniversity of Florida
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1942–1946

Richard Kelly (July 31, 1924 – August 22, 2005) was an American politician from Florida. He was a Republican. He was convicted of taking bribes in the 1980 Abscam scandal.

Early life and career

Kelly was born July 31, 1924, in Atlanta, Georgia, his mother abandoned him in an orphanage at an early age. He attended a one-room school in Crystal Springs.[1] He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1942 to 1946, attended Colorado State College of Education and Vanderbilt College of Law, and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in Florida with a Juris Doctor in 1952.[2]

While in Colorado, he married for the first of five times.[1] He was admitted to the Florida bar the same year and practiced in Zephyrhills. In 1953, he became city attorney of Zephyrhills and worked from 1956 to 1959 as senior assistant to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Kelly was appointed circuit judge of the sixth judicial circuit of Florida and served from 1960 to 1974, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican.[2]

He served three terms in the House of Representatives, starting in 1975. He opposed Food Stamps, aid to the failing Chrysler Corporation and financially troubled New York City.[1]

Abscam scandal and later life

In 1980, Kelly was involved in the FBI undercover Abscam scandal and failed to win renomination, losing to Republican Bill McCollum.

Kelley was convicted of taking $25,000 in bribes.[3] He claimed he had conducted his own undercover operation and spent part of the money to maintain that cover, but was convicted and served thirteen months of a 6 to 18 month sentence at the federal prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base. He was released from a halfway house in 1986.[3][4][5]

Kelly died August 22, 2005, in Stevensville, Montana after suffering for years with Pick's disease.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Groer, Anne (21 October 1985). "The Life And Times Of Richard Kelly -- Will It Sell?". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b KELLY, Richard (1924-2005). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ a b Libit, Daniel (2009-05-08). "The lamest excuses ever". The Politico. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  4. ^ Wolfgang Saxon (August 26, 2005). "Richard Kelly, 81, Congressman Who Went to Prison in Scandal, Dies".
  5. ^ Lucy Morgan, St. Petersburg Times (August 27, 2005). "RICHARD KELLY, 81, SERVED TIME FOR BRIBERY".
  6. ^ Morgan, Lucy (25 August 2005). "Representative convicted in Abscam dies". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 27 July 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Gunter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Bill McCollum

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document: "KELLY, Richard". Retrieved 2009-05-09.

This page was last edited on 14 May 2020, at 23:24
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