Poughkeepsie native Ben Gilman, who served as a U.S. Congressman for 30 years, died Saturday morning at the Castle Point Veteran's Hospital in Wappingers Falls. Falls. He was 94.
Gilman's wife, Georgia, said the Congressman had been hospitalized since having hip surgery more than three years ago.
Gilman retired from Congress in 2003 after 20th congressional district, which he represented and included Rockland, was broken up and dispersed among the 17th, 18th, 19th and 22nd districts.
Gilman graduated from Middletown High School and received a B.S. from the Wharton School Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. He also earned a degree from New York Law School.
Gilman served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 until 1945 during World War II. During that conflict, he flew 35 missions over Japan, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.
Gilman, a Republican, was elected to Congress in 1972.
Gilman was known for his work on foreign affairs and was a vocal critic of the Clinton administration, saying the president was not strong enough on issues related to Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia.