Former Congressman, Thomas J Bliley has died. He died at the age of 91 on November 16, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia. The cause of his death is unknown.
Bliley’s roots trace back to Chesterfield County, Virginia, where he was born into a Catholic family on January 28, 1932. His educational journey began at Benedictine High School, from which he graduated in 1948 at the remarkable age of 16. Subsequently, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1952.
Bliley’s political journey began in 1968 when he was elected vice-mayor of Richmond, Virginia, a position he held until 1970. He then successfully ran for mayor, maintaining the role until 1977. Originally a conservative Southern Democrat, Bliley later transitioned to the Republican Party after his term as mayor.
In 1980, Bliley secured the Republican nomination for Congress, representing Virginia’s 3rd congressional district. His victory marked a significant shift, as he became the first Republican to win an undisputed victory in the district since the Reconstruction Era. Over the years, Bliley continued to secure reelection, even after redistricting in 1990, which resulted in his district being renumbered as the 7th.