Philadelphia State Rep. Mike O'Brien Dies

Democratic state Rep. Mike O'Brien died at his childhood home in Fishtown, his daughter says.

What to Know

  • Rep. Mike O’Brien represented the 175th Legislative District since 2007. He died Monday morning in his Fishtown home.
  • The Democrat chaired the House Urban Affairs Committee and served on the House Appropriations Committee.
  • Dealing with health issues, O’Brien announced over the summer that he wouldn't be seeking another term.

Longtime Pennsylvania state legislator Rep. Mike O’Brien has died from a suspected heart attack.

The Philadelphia Democrat, who represented the 175th Legislative District covering neighborhoods along the Delaware River as well as Chinatown and Northern Liberties since 2007, died Monday, his Harrisburg office confirmed to NBC10. He was 64.

The six-term representative's daughter, Bridget O'Brien, told the AP that her father died in the early hours on Monday in the home where he had lived as a child in the city's Fishtown neighborhood. 

The 64-year-old had been battling a host of medical issues, his daughter said.

O’Brien’s office hoped to release an official statement about his death in the future.

O’Brien chaired the House Urban Affairs Committee and served on the House Appropriations Committee, which deals with the state budget.

"Rep. O’Brien was a strong voice for the citizens of Philadelphia during his 12 years in the House and a man of common sense and integrity," Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, said.

Dealing with health issues, he announced over the summer that he wouldn’t seek another term as his chief of staff, Mary Isaacson, took his place on November’s ballot.

O’Brien attended Northeast Catholic High School for Boys and La Salle University before his career in politics. He spent years in public service, leaving an impact on other city leaders.

"Mike and I go back to the days when we were staffers, navigating bureaucracies and doing our best to help people in need," Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke, D-5th District, said. "That experience makes some future politicians cynical – but not Mike. Mike never lost his impatience for progress and change, and in recent years, I have appreciated watching him fight with passion for Philadelphians on the Pennsylvania House floor. Rest easy, Mike – you really deserve it."

O'Brien had been a legislative aide to his predecessor, and before that had worked in a meatpacking plant.

Besides his daughter, O'Brien left behind his wife Rita and adult son Michael.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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