November 9, 2012
Former U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Early passed away Friday, Nov. 9, at the age of 79. Congressman Early served the Central Massachusetts region and the nation with great distinction, as a high school teacher, a member of the U.S. Navy, as a state representative for six terms, and then from 1975 to 1993 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Among his many achievements, the congressman is credited with playing a key role in the push to locate UMass Medical School in Central Massachusetts.
“Congressman Joseph D. Early Sr. was instrumental in the founding and growth of the University of Massachusetts Medical School,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “First as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, he was an outspoken advocate for the founding of a state medical school in his beloved hometown of Worcester. Then throughout his 18 years as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Early was a champion for medical education, research and clinical care at UMMS—the very hallmarks of our successful academic medical center. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the entire Early family; we are forever appreciative of the Congressman’s visionary leadership.”
Education played a central role in the congressman’s life. Prior to embarking on a political career, he worked as a high school teacher in Spencer and Shrewsbury.