Death of fmr US Rep Robert W. Daniel, Jr. (R-VA) (1936-2012)
- Fmr. Congressman Daniel died while on vacation at Jupiter Island, Florida on February 4, 2012.
Former congressman Robert W. Daniel Jr. dies at 75
(FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS)
Published: February 10, 2012
Robert W. Daniel Jr., a Prince George native who served five terms in the 1970s representing Virginia's 4th Congressional District, died Saturday of a heart attack while vacationing in Florida. He was 75.
Daniel was first elected in 1972 as a Republican and served on the House Armed Services Committee. At the time, the district included Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Prince George, Dinwiddie and other cities and counties in the southeast corner of the state below the James River.
Daniel was defeated for a sixth term in 1982 by Democrat Norman Sisisky, who served until his death in 2002. U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, now holds the seat.
"The death of Bob Daniel is a great loss for the commonwealth of Virginia," Forbes said in a statement. "Bob was a quiet but principled leader who led by example. He truly earned the title of 'Virginia statesman.'"
After leaving Congress, Daniel served as a deputy assistant for Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger from 1984 to 1986 and as director of intelligence for the Department of Energy from 1990-93.
In recent years, he ran Brandon Plantation, a family-owned farming operation in Prince George County.
Brandon Plantation sits on most of the grounds of Martin's Brandon, a land patent from 1616. The Harrison family controlled Brandon until its purchase by the late Robert Williams Daniel Sr. in 1926. The elder Daniel was a banker and survivor of sinking of the RMS Titanic.
Robert Daniel Jr. said that the farm is disputably the oldest continuously farmed parcel in the United States. When the Daniel family purchased the property, Daniel said, his father undertook a massive renovation project to the main building and the restoration of an ornate English garden between the home and the James River.
"I lived here all my life, except when I worked in government," Daniel said in a 2007 interview with the Progress-Index. "I just like being here. This is home."
Daniel, a Richmond native and 1958 graduate of the University of Virginia, also had been a financial analyst, taught economics at the University of Richmond and worked for four years in the 1960s for the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served on the Prince George County Planning Commission.
Daniel is survived by his wife, Linda Hearne Daniel, and two daughters. He was preceded in death by one son.
A funeral service will be held at Martin's Brandon Episcopal Church in Burrowsville at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by interment at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond at 1:30 p.m. Arrangements are by Bliley Funeral Home in Richmond.
- Bill Bartel of the Virginian-Pilot and the Progress-Index contributed to this report.