Dan Rostenkowski, the top tax writer in the House for 14 years who helped push tax measures through Congress that transformed the municipal bond market, died Wednesday at his home in Wisconsin. He was 82.
A big man at six feet two inches and well over 200 pounds, Mr. Rostenkowski was an old-style ward politician from Chicago who spent 36 years in Congress. He excelled at back-room wheeling and dealing and had an iron grip on the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chaired from 1981 to 1994 until he was indicted for embezzlement and misuse of federal funds. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and served 15 months in prison and two months in a halfway house. But President Bill Clinton pardoned him just before Christmas in 2000.