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House Speaker Sam Rayburn Suffering From Terminal Cancer

Oct. 5, 1961 - House Speaker Sam Rayburn (pictured at last year's Democratic National Convention), 79 years old, is suffering from cancer. Hospital tests today showed that there was no hope of recovery. A tissue sample from Mr. Rayburn's groin contained a "metastatic malignancy." This meant that the cancer had developed somewhere else, probably the pancreas, and that the cells had spread the malignancy to other parts of the body. Asked how long Mr. Rayburn would live, Dr. Robert F. Short Jr., in charge of the case, said: "There is no way of telling." Mr. Rayburn was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1912. He has been re-elected every two years since. He has served in the House longer than any other man and has been Speaker twice as long as any other.


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