Ex U.S. Rep. Clint Roberts dies
Former U.S. Rep. Clint Roberts, a South Dakota rancher who corralled cowboy roles on television and auditioned to be the “Marlboro Man,’’ a nickname that stuck in Congress, has died. He was 82.
The former Republican congressman and South Dakota agriculture secretary died early Monday at a hospital in Pierre from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his daughter-in-law, Pam Roberts.
Clint Roberts once owned a 5,000-acre cattle and wheat ranch near Presho, in central South Dakota, and represented the state’s western 2nd Congressional District from 1981 to 1983. He lost re-election when reapportionment left South Dakota with only one U.S. House seat in a fight of incumbents with thenRep. Tom Daschle, a Democrat.
“I am a cowboy. I am a rancher — a working one. It’s very much a part of our state, the image I carry here,’’ Roberts told The Associated Press in 1981. “It’s a tough country, South Dakota. Over many years, only the strong survived so the ones that got left there are just super people.’’
Roberts received the nickname “the Marlboro Man’’ in Washington, although his tryout photographs never made the grade. But he did earn several cowboy roles.