INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former Indiana Rep. William “Bill” Crawford died Friday, according to the Indiana House Democrats.
Crawford served 40 years in the Indiana House, serving as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He retired in 2012.
At the time of his retirement, Crawford was the longest serving black state lawmaker in the country. He was originally encouraged to run for the state legislature by the late Julia Carson.
Crawford was a big supporter of Indiana Black Expo, playing a part in the early days of its inception. This year, he was awarded the Rev. Charles Williams Community Service Award during the expo’s Summer Celebration.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard released a statement, noting Crawford’s civic engagement:
Indianapolis lost a cherished community leader today. For decades, Bill Crawford championed civic causes and tirelessly advocated on behalf of the people and neighborhoods that make our city great. There is no denying how much he cared for his constituents and Indianapolis. My thoughts and prayers are with his family today.