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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert W. Daniel
Daniel, RE Jr.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byWatkins Abbitt
Succeeded byNorman Sisisky
Personal details
BornMarch 17, 1936
Richmond, Virginia
DiedFebruary 4, 2012(2012-02-04) (aged 75)
Jupiter Island, Florida
Resting placeHollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sally L. Chase (div.)
Linda Hearne
ChildrenRobert W. Daniel, III
Charlotte Bemiss Daniel
Nell Daniel
Alma materUniversity of Virginia (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.B.A.)
Professiongentleman farmer
AwardsNational Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Reserve
Central Intelligence Agency
Years of service1959

Robert Williams Daniel, Jr. (March 17, 1936 – February 4, 2012) was a Virginia farmer, businessman, teacher, and politician who served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican. He was first elected in 1972 and served until 1983.


Early life

Daniel was born in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of Robert Williams Daniel, a bank executive who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, and later served in the Senate of Virginia, and his third wife Charlotte Randolph Christian (née Bemiss).

He was a descendant of Peter V. Daniel, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and Edmund Randolph, who was the seventh Governor of Virginia, the first Attorney General of the United States, and the second Secretary of State.

He graduated from the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts and Woodberry Forest School, in Woodberry Forest, Virginia.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.[2] He then received a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University.


Daniel worked for a time as a financial analyst, later teaching Economics at the University of Richmond. He served in the United States Army and Central Intelligence Agency from 1964 to 1968 when he returned home to take over the management of Brandon Plantation after the death of his mother.

Daniel had grown up as a Conservative Democrat like his father, but became a Republican sometime in the 1960s when many Southern Democrats dissatisfied with the policies of desegregation left the Democratic Party. In 1972, Daniel, who was then serving on the Prince George County Planning Commission, ran for the open seat in Virginia's 4th congressional district after a redistricting controversy and the retirement of longtime incumbent Watkins Abbitt. He won in the five-candidate general election, becoming the first Republican to represent this district since the end of the Reconstruction Era.[3]

While in Congress, Daniel was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and various subcommittees. He was defeated in his bid for a sixth term by Norman Sisisky in 1982. He served as deputy assistant to Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, from 1984 to 1986; and director of intelligence for the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993. He was a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal.

Personal life

He was the owner and operator of Brandon Plantation, in Prince George, Virginia, a U.S. National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest continuous agricultural operations in the United States.

Daniel was married twice. He had three children with his first wife, Sally (born Sally Lewis Chase).

Daniel died of a heart attack at his Jupiter Island, Florida vacation home on February 4, 2012 and was buried with military honors at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.[4][5] He was survived by his second wife, Linda, and his two daughters. His son, Robert Williams Daniel, III, predeceased him.

Electoral history

  • 1972; Daniel was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 55.67% of the vote, defeating Democrat Robert E. Gibson and Independents Robert R. Hardy, William E. Ward, and John G. Vonetes.
  • 1974; Daniel was re-elected with 47.21% of the vote, defeating Democrat Lester E. Schlitz and Independent Curtis W. Harris.
  • 1976; Daniel was re-elected with 53.03% of the vote, defeating Democrat Joseph William O'Brien, Jr.
  • 1978; Daniel was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1980; Daniel was re-elected with 60.7% of the vote, defeating Democrat Cecil Y. Jenkins.
  • 1982; Daniel lost his re-election bid to Democrat Norman Sisisky.


  1. ^ Biographical directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, inclusive, Government Printing Office, p. 917 [1]
  2. ^ Grand Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity – Twelfth Edition, p.76: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, 1985.
  3. ^ John T. Whelen, Virginia's Post World War II Paths to Congress," University of Virginia Newsletter February 1992 at p. 7, available at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Former congressman Robert W. Daniel Jr. dies at 75". Progress Index. February 10, 2012. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  5. ^ "Five-term congressman and recent Jupiter Island resident Robert W. Daniel dies". TCPalm. February 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-14.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Watkins M. Abbitt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Norman Sisisky
This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 02:15
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