Robert William Davis
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Michigan's 11th district
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Philip Ruppe|
|Succeeded by||Joe Knollenberg|
|Member of the Michigan Senate|
from the 37th district
January 1, 1971 – December 31, 1978
|Preceded by||Thomas F. Schweigert|
|Succeeded by||Mitch Irwin|
|Member of the Michigan House of Representatives|
from the 106th district
January 1, 1967 – December 31, 1970
|Preceded by||Clayton T. Morrison|
|Succeeded by||Richard Friske|
Robert William Davis
July 31, 1932
|Died||October 16, 2009 (aged 77)|
|Alma mater||Northern Michigan University|
|Occupation||Funeral director, lobbyist|
Robert William Davis (July 31, 1932 – October 16, 2009) was an American politician from the state of Michigan. He represented the state's 11th congressional district, which at that time included the Upper Peninsula and a large portion of Northern Michigan, in the United States House of Representatives from 1979 until 1993.
Davis was born in Marquette, Michigan. His family moved to St. Ignace soon after his birth, where he attended public schools. He graduated from LaSalle High School in 1950. He attended Northern Michigan University, Hillsdale College, and the College of Mortuary Sciences at Wayne State University. Before entering politics, Davis served as Funeral Director at the Davis Funeral Home in St. Ignace.
In 1966, Davis was elected as a Republican to the Michigan House of Representatives from the state's 106th District and was reelected in 1968. In 1970, Davis was elected to the Michigan State Senate from the 37th district and was reelected in 1974. He served as the Majority Whip, 1970–1974, and as Senate Republican Leader, 1974–1978. In 1978, Davis was elected to the 96th United States Congress and was subsequently re-elected to the six succeeding Congresses. Davis did not seek re-election in 1992. In Congress, Davis helped establish the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Keweenaw National Historical Park.
In early 1992, Davis was implicated in the House banking scandal or congressional check-kiting scandal. The Congress ran its own bank and allowed members who wished to do so to frequently write overdrawn or insufficient fund checks to their account. Davis was one of the most notorious of these, writing many overdrawn checks. There was no illegality, though, since the bank allowed members overdraft protection.
For the elections of 1992, after redistricting due to the 1990 Census, most of what had been 11th congressional district became Michigan's 1st congressional district, while the 11th district was apportioned to represent a part of the Metro Detroit area. In 1992, Democrat Bart Stupak was elected from 1st district, succeeding Davis as U.S. Representative for the U.P. and Northern Michigan. Stupak, coincidentally, defeated Philip Ruppe, the man Davis replaced as congressman in 1978. Davis lived in Gaylord, Michigan.
Post-Congressional career and life
According to the Chicago Sun-Times of May 31, 1989, Davis revealed that he hired a woman with whom he lived for his committee staff, but he said he had not violated House rules. Davis was separated from his third wife, Marty Davis, and had filed for divorce. He acknowledged recommending that Brook Ball, 27, be hired for the House Merchant Marine staff. He married Ball, who survives him, as do his five children.
- United States Congress. "Robert William Davis (id: D000131)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- The Political Graveyard
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| United States Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Michigan