IOWA — Leonard Boswell, a Vietnam veteran who represented Iowa in the US House of Representatives for 16 years, has passed away at the age of 84.
Boswell was found unresponsive at his home in Davis County early Friday morning. He was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital. Family and friends spent the day saying their final farewells before his passing.
Boswell was born in Harrison County, Missouri on January 10th, 1934. His family moved to Iowa and he graduated from Lamoni High School in 1952.
In 1956 he was drafted into the United States Army, beginning a 20 year military career. Boswell rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam as an assault helicopter pilot. Among his numerous military awards were two Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Bronze Stars.
Boswell began his political career in 1984 when he was elected to the Iowa Senate. From 1993-1996 he served as President of the Iowa Senate.
In 1996 he was elected to Congress, defeating Republican Mike Mahaffey. Boswell would be re-elected seven more times by voters in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. In 2012 he was defeated by fellow Congressman Tom Latham after re-districting eliminated one of Iowa’s congressional seats.
In 2011 an armed man broke into the Boswell family home in Davis City. Boswell, then at the age of 77, physically confronted the intruder and held him at bay until one of Boswell’s grandsons chased the intruder off with a shotgun.