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State flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of former Sen. Richard Schweiker

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Richard S. Schweiker (Credit:

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all Pennsylvania flags to be flown at half-staff in the capitol and elsewhere around the state after the death of Richard S. Schweiker, a former United States senator from Pennsylvania who was the secretary of health and human services during the first term of President Ronald Regan.

Schweiker, died on Friday in New Jersey. He was 89.

“Richard Schweiker served Pennsylvania with distinction and grace as a congressman, senator and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Governor Wolf said in a statement. “On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, Frances and I extend our condolences to the friends and family of this great public servant.”

Schweiker served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was elected in 1960 and represented Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district in Montgomery County. He also served in the United States Senate from 1969 until 1981.

In 1981, Schweiker was sworn in as the 14th Secretary of Health and Human Services, under President Regan.

He retired in 1983 after 22 years of public service.

State flags shall remain at half-staff until interment, Wolf said.