Dr. Ken Hechler, Author and West Virginia Congressman, dies at 102

By Laurence I. Barrett, Washington Post

Ken Hechler, an urbane historian who carpetbagged his way into West Virginia’s gritty politics, where he battled destructive coal-industry practices, unsafe mining conditions and felonious county officials, died Dec. 10 at his home in Romney, W.Va. He was 102.

The cause was a stroke, his wife, Carol Kitzmiller, said.

During 18 years as a Democratic congressman, 16 more as West Virginia secretary of state and a final act as a do-gooder without portfolio, Dr. Hechler never tired of crusades.

“I used to be an agitator, then an activist,” he wrote at age 94, in 2009. “Now I am a hellraiser.” This was soon after he was arrested while protesting mountaintop removal, the mining method environmentalists hate most.

Read the full article.