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.

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