Conservative Ex-Rep. Rousellot Dies at 75

Posted May 13, 2003 at 3:08pm

Former California Rep. John Rousselot (R) died May 11 at age 75 from heart failure.

Rousselot, who first came to Capitol Hill in 1961, served eight terms in Congress.

The Los Angeles-born Republican won election to the 87th Congress by defeating freshman Rep. George Kasem (D).

An officer in the conservative John Birch Society, Rousselot lost his re-election bid in 1962 to Democrat Ronald Cameron.

Rousselot spent several years as a management consultant before winning a special election in 1970 to replace the late Rep. Glenard Lipscomb (R).

Rousselot went on to serve in the following six Congresses, until his defeat by now-Rep. Howard Berman (D) in 1982.

During his tenure in the House, Rousselot served on the Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, Budget and Joint Economic committees.

Following his service on the Hill, Rousselot served as a special assistant to then-President Ronald Reagan, and later became president of the National Council of Savings Institutions, where he remained until 1988.

Rousselot attempted a comeback in 1992, but failed to win the seat.

After graduating in 1949 from Principia College in Elsah, Ill., Rousselot began his career as an insurance agent.

He joined the Pacific Finance Corp. of Los Angeles in 1954 as assistant to the public relations director, and later founded his own public relations firm.

In 1956, Rousselot became deputy to the chairman of California’s Board of Equalization. That year he also served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was an executive committee member of the Republican State Central Committee.

In 1958, Rousselot became director of public information for the Federal Housing Administration.

He is survived by his son, Craig, and daughters Robin Edwards and Wendy Sirugo.

— Jennifer Yachnin