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Happy 99th Birthday Representative Klingaman!
State Representative William K. Klingaman of Tamaqua, (R-Schuylkill/Lehigh) was born December 14, 1916 and would be celebrating his 99th birthday today. Mr. Klingaman was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1972 and served as the representative from the 124th District for six terms before retiring in November of 1984.
Bill was a graduate of Tamaqua High School and served in the United States Navy during the Second World War. In 1951 he opened and operated Klingaman's Inc., an office machine and supply business and was later elected to the Tamaqua Board of Education.
During his time in the House, he served on numerous committees and as chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee, where he helped to lead successful efforts to rewrite and reform the state’s welfare laws in the 1980s.
During his tenure he was known for his quick wit, his political insight and his drive for excellent constituent service.
In 1978, he hired me as his first summer intern for $100 per week. The experience I gained in learning by his side, that summer, the following summer, and for the next three years as a staff assistant was truly invaluable, far exceeding anything I ever learned in many years of college and graduate school. Long after his retirement, I continued to seek his quiet advice, often interwoven in a very funny story.
He passed away on August 13, 1991 and I still miss him every time I look at this picture, which proudly sits behind my desk at the state Capitol.