Charles Whitlow Norwood, Jr., 1941-2007

By February 14, 2007General

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of a great Member of Congress, Charlie Norwood (R-GA), who died at his home in Georgia yesterday at the age of 65. A dentist by trade, we actually knew Charlie as both an ally and an adversary. We saw things differently on the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which he fervently advanced many years ago. Having been on both sides of Charlie, we can say we learned as much about his decency and character when we were adversaries as we did when we were allies, which was much more often. As an adversary he was passionate, respectful, determined and yes, even relentless. Come to think of it, he was the same as an ally. But most important, he was always respectful. No one was ever in doubt about where Charlie stood on an issue, but he always conducted himself with dignity and respect. He was at once a champion for small business and workers’ rights. Lately he led the charge against the anti-democracy card check bill, worried that it would deprive workers of their most basic democratic right to an election.

However, no matter where you stood on the issue, you had to respect his determination and his fervently-held views. he was both principled and thoughtful in a world where both are in too short supply.”An honest, hard-working gentleman of conscience” said Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on Norwood’s passing. Said NAM President John Engler, “Charlie Norwood exemplified the finest in public service.”

After a long battle with cancer, he went home earlier this month to his beloved Georgia to die. He left this world yesterday and leaves it all just a little less decent as a result. However, those who were touched by Charlie and that decency will never forget the country dentist from Georgia. We will miss him.