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The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

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Information about The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

Profile image of The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Hot Dogs
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Reading
Favorite Quote:
I Haven't Had A Bad Day Since. God Is Good.

Birthplace

Born:
6/11/1930
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Hot Dogs
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Reading
Favorite Quote:
I Haven't Had A Bad Day Since. God Is Good.

Birthplace

Born:
6/11/1930
Birth Location:
New York
See how The Honorable Charles B. Rangel is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

New York Congressman and Harlem native Charlie Rangel was born in New York on June 11, 1930. Raised by his mother and maternal grandfather, a Pullman porter and elevator operator, Rangel grew up in the streets of New York. After dropping out of high school, Rangel served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he was seriously wounded in battle and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

After his return from Korea and near-death experience, Rangel enrolled at New York University, earning a B.A. in 1957 and receiving his law degree from St. John's University Law School in 1960. In 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy appointed Rangel assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 1967, Rangel won election to the New York State Assembly. In 1971 Rangel ran for U.S. Congress and defeated the famous Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a historic election. Rangel's victory inaugurated the first of his seventeen consecutive terms as representative of the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York. This district contains the neighborhood of Harlem.

Rangel's tenure in Congress has been marked by a continued activism and concern for his constituency. Rangel was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus and served at one time as its chairman. He has also been active on issues of trade and human resources. In 1987, Rangel, one of the leading opponents to South African apartheid, pushed the Internal Revenue Service to eliminate tax credits for taxes paid to the apartheid government of South Africa. In 1995, he helped to create a federal "empowerment zone" in Manhattan and authored the low-income tax credit to stimulate the development of affordable housing in urban areas. Early in 2003, Rangel proposed the reinstatement of the military draft as a way to deter the use of force and promote a peaceful resolution to the standoff in Iraq. In 2007, Rangel became the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel and his wife, Alma, have two children, Steven and Alicia. The Rangels, active still in many civic and community organizations, maintain their home in Harlem.






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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Charles B. Rangel's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his father and the origin of his last name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel reflects on his decision to become a lawyer
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes his grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes his relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his older brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his younger sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his earliest memories of growing up in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls receiving neighborhood support while running for office
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls neighborhood reactions while being investigated by the FBI
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about living in the Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel reflects on his love for Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about growing up in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about working as a clerk at Hotel Theresa in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his childhood jobs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls his elementary school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes getting in trouble with police as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls working in a drug store
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel recalls being lured into a car when he was a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel talks about his childhood friends and social activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Charles B. Rangel describes social clubs in Harlem, New York