Our City has lost another of its lions. Days after the death of Harriett Woods and John Bass, we learn that former US Senator Tom Eagleton, one of the state’s most able political figures, has passed away.
His official resume lists an impressive number of offices sought and won: St. Louis circuit attorney, state attorney general, Missouri lieutenant governor, and US Senator. The Senator never lost an election — and he managed to retain an exuberance for campaigning that energized his partisans.
As successful as his public career was, his unofficial roles as local ambassador, cheerleader, sports fan, conciliator, mediator, humorist, and wise counselor were the ones I will remember best. There was no issue too large — or too small — for Tom Eagleton. He shared his opinions on everything from war to the middle of the Cardinals’ line-up with knowledge, passion, and the firm conviction that equal parts of reason and volume could turn a discussion.
I had spoken to him recently. His opinions on Mississippi river bridges, public schools, foreign policy, and the plight of the Rams were colorful and persuasive. I will mourn few people more than Tom Eagleton.
The City’s flags, already lowered to mark Comptroller Bass’s death, will remain at half mast.