- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

GLOUCESTER, Va. — Former Virginia House Speaker John Warren Cooke has died.

Mr. Cooke died Saturday at his home in Mathews County, according to his son, Giles Cooke. He was 94.

Mr. Cooke, a Democrat, represented Gloucester, Mathews and other parts of the Middle Peninsula in the House of Delegates from 1942 to 1980. He served as majority leader from 1956 to 1968 and speaker from 1968 to 1980. He went against tradition and included a Republican among the House’s budget negotiators, and later appointed a few Republicans, women and progressives to major committees.

Mr. Cooke was the last son of a Confederate veteran to serve in the General Assembly. He was president and publisher of Tidewater Newspapers Inc., which owns the weekly Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal, from 1954 until March.

A graveside service is scheduled for Tuesday at Ware Episcopal Church in Gloucester.

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