Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Advocates Mourn Death Of Civil Rights Champion Wellstone
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 28, 2002

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA--Americans across the country are mourning the deaths of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, and their daughter Marcia, who died Friday in an airplane crash in northern Minnesota. The plane's pilot and co-pilot, along with three of Wellstone's staff aides, also perished in the accident, which took place between re-election campaign stops.

Wellstone, 58, considered by colleagues as a liberal "warrior", had championed many causes related to civil rights and health care since he took office in 1991.

In February of this year, Wellstone announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but that he would continue his re-election campaign. "I have a strong mind -- although there are some that might disagree about that -- I have a strong body, I have a strong heart, I have a strong soul," he told reporters.

Previously, Wellstone also said that he had a learning disability that required him to study harder and take more time to learn in school. Because of this, as a senator he opposed measures that emphasized standardized test scores.

"Sen. Wellstone was a strong advocate for people with disabilities including people with multiple sclerosis," the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said in an on-line statement. "He frequently sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that would benefit people with disabilities and people in poverty."

"Senator Wellstone was a great advocate for people with disabilities and their families," said Linda Warner, Chair of the Epilepsy Foundation in a press statement. "His leadership in pursuing mental health parity legislation is an example of the ways he championed health care for all Americans."

Wellstone considered running for the presidency in 2000, but finally decided against it, saying a back injury would prevent him from effectively running the campaign.

The Minnesota Democrat and his wife are survived by their two sons and six grandchildren.

Wellstone made mark as liberal champion (CNN)


©2017 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.