Rich Bolling was a prominent Democratic Congressman from Kansas City, Missouri, and Missouri’s 5th congressional district from 1949 to 1983.
Bolling was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-first Congress in 1948 and to the sixteen succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1949 until January 3, 1983. In Congress, he served as chairman of the Select Committee on Committees of the House (in the Ninety-third Congress), Joint Economic Committee (in the Ninety-fifth Congress); and the Committee on Rules (in the Ninety-sixth and Ninety-seventh Congresses). He introduced the discharge petition that released the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from the Senate’s committees chaired by southern democrats, a vital step to passing the act. He was twice a candidate for House Majority leader, losing to Carl Albert in 1961 and to Jim Wright (by three votes) in 1977.
Due to heart disease, in 1981 he announced his retirement and was not a candidate for reelection in 1982 to the Ninety-eighth Congress. He remained a resident of Washington, D.C., until his death there on April 21, 1991.