Congressman Charles Norwood Dies

Charlie Norwood has died.

Charlie Norwood Photo Alex Wong / Getty Images for Meet the Press Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-GA, died from lung disease and cancer a week after deciding to forgo further medical treatment.. Rep. Charles Norwood, a seven-term Republican congressman from Georgia, has died after battling cancer and lung disease, his office says.

Norwood had left Washington last week to receive hospice care at home in Georgia, forgoing further treatment for lung cancer that has spread to his liver. At that time, Norwood’s spokesman, John Stone, said the seven-term Republican was not yet resigning from Congress but had decided to go home to Augusta, Ga., to be with his family and “put it in the Lord’s hands.” “He has spent three months just sick as a dog and finally just said, ‘That’s it. I’m going home,'” Stone said. The goal, Stone said, was to make Norwood as comfortable as he can be, “for as long as the Lord will let him stay with us, and nobody knows how long that will be.”

Norwood, 65, received a lung transplant in 2004. He suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. Last year, doctors discovered a small cancerous tumor on his nontransplanted lung. They removed the cancer with surgery but then discovered more on his liver when Norwood returned to Washington after easily winning re-election in November.

Sad news.

His official site is inaccessible at the moment. His Wikipedia entry notes his military service:

Norwood served as a Captain in the United States Army from 1967 from 1969, beginning with an assignment to the U.S. Army Dental Corps at Sandia Army Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1968 he was transferred to the Medical Battalion of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, and served a combat tour at Quin Yon, An Khe, and LZ English at Bon Son. During his tour, he participated in experimental military dental practices that are now standard procedure for the armed forces. Norwood was one of the first participants in the Army’s outreach program that delivered dentists to forward firebases in lieu of transferring patients to rear treatment areas. He also provided some of the first field-based dental treatment of military guard dogs, and assisted in non-dental trauma care in Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals.

In recognition of his service under combat conditions, Norwood was awarded the Combat Medical Badge and two Bronze Stars.

It reminds us, too, that “During the State of the Union address on January 23, 2007, President Bush noted Congressman Norwood’s absence from the Hall of the House and extended his thoughts for a speedy recovery” and informs that, “At approximately 2:02 PM Eastern time on February 13, 2007 a few moments of silence were observed for Norwood on the House floor.”

UPDATE: His page is back up, thus far without notice of his passing. His bio reveals a man who actually got quite a bit of legislating done.

Charlie Norwood Congressional Homepage Banner

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ken says:

    Does his career include anything relating to tobacco I wonder? Do you know?

    A southern congressman from a tobacco state contracts lung cancer. I really wonder how he stood on that subject. Did he defend the tobacco interests? Or did he stand with the medical community and the scientists? Or did he try to have it both ways?

  2. Triumph says:

    Does his career include anything relating to tobacco I wonder? Do you know?

    He received $90,000 during his career from tobacco companies.

  3. Tim says:

    Geesh! What vultures!!! Give it a rest people, wait until after the man is eulogized and buried at least before making his death a chance to push somebody’s agenda!

  4. “Idiopathic” pulmonary fibrosis means that there was no identifiable cause of his disease. And, as the AP article yesterday noted: “Cancer is a common side effect of the immune suppression drugs he took”.

    Tim, I don’t normally stop over at this blog area, but when I saw the news story I knew I’d find exactly what you complain about: the antismoking vultures jump on everything they can as fast as they can whether or not it actually has anything to do with reality. That’s how they get their “mountains of evidence”.

    Competing Interest Disclaimer: I am the author of a book in the area of concern.

  5. ken says:

    What is an ‘antismoking vulture’?

    Aren’t the whole medical, scientific and public health communities antismoking?

    It seems to me that it is the proponents of smoking who would correctly be called the vultures.

    I am not surprised that a southern politician from a tobacco state got some money from tobacco interests. What I am curious about however is if he learned anything from his own illness and if that led to any legislative action on his part.

  6. Tim says:


    You could probably classify me as being anti-smoking. I have no problems whatsoever with governments passing ordinances that ban or severely restrict smoking in any kind of public place, including restaurants and bars.

    My main problem and the reason I posted is that I saw two people immediately pile-on to make the death of a public servant a platform for their agenda, even if it might be an agenda I agree with. It’s just unseemly but all too common in the world these days.

  7. Tim, I agreed with you exactly. I’ve been fighting antismoking extremists for years and I’ve seen them use every possible opportunistic crack available to push their agenda. I have my own “agenda” to push as well, but I don’t hop into topics all over the place with it unless I see statements from the other direction pushing what I consider to be prejudice or falsehoods.

    I have a question for you though, the answer to which might surprise you: Do you think smoking ban laws should ban a smoker from opening their own little smokers’ club, hire only smokers, and allow only smokers and their friends to enter? We already have the precedent of companies being allowed to hire only non-smokers, and even precedents where companies are allowed to fire smokers who won’t quit, so the sauce works as well for the goose.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”