Ex-Minnesota Rep. Karth Dies at 83

Posted June 3, 2005 at 3:18pm

Former Rep. Joseph Karth (D-Minn.), 83, died May 29 from a heart attack. He was at home in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he has lived since leaving the D.C. area.

Karth served in the House from 1958 until 1977. Before being sent to Washington, Karth served in the Minnesota House from 1950 until his election to Congress.

Before entering the realm of politics, Karth fought in the European theater of World War II and helped organize labor. He was one of the founding members of 3M employee union 6-75, a local of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers.

Karth was hailed as a great friend to the environment by the Member who now holds his seat, Betty McCollum (D). “Thanks to his hard work to protect our environment, he was successful in preserving the beautiful St. Croix River Valley,” she said in a statement, referring to his authorship of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act which protected that Minnesota river, and many more across the country, from development.

During his time in Congress, Karth also tried to get spending under control at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Prior to Apollo 11’s landing on the moon, Karth called for unmanned missions that would be cheaper and get more accomplished.

Karth is survived by his two sons, Brian and Kevin, his sister and four grandchildren.