John Heinz died seventeen years ago today. Tragically and tragically before time. The issues he cared about —and characteristically burrowed in on— were seen as esoteric, and even irrelevant, by many at the time. But today we can see that the reform of Social Security, the aspects and ramifications of the aging of Americans, and particularly American women, and the pragmatic care of the environment, were ideas ahead of their times.
John was one of nature’s noble men, which had nothing to do with the fact that he was born to great wealth and privilege. He was enthusiastic and unaffected and very, very smart. No one worked harder for the things he believed in.

Two of my former colleagues on Senator Heinz’ staff have written a tribute to our late leader and friend in today’s Harrisburg Patriot-News.