Former Aide Callahan Dies At 80

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and her father, Gene Callahan (family photo).

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and her father, Gene Callahan (family photo).

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gene Callahan has died. He was a former newspaper reporter and longtime aide to top Democratic elected officials, including the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon.

His daughter, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, said in a Monday statement that he died overnight at his Springfield home. Further details on his death weren’t released. Callahan was 80.

He worked for a Springfield newspaper before serving as press secretary for several elected officials, including former U.S. Sen Paul Simon while he was lieutenant governor.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Callahan a “trusted friend” in a Monday statement. He says he never made an important decision in politics without calling Callahan.

Callahan also worked as a lobbyist for Major League Baseball. Callahan’s son, Dan Callahan, was the Saluki Baseball coach until he passed away from cancer in 2010.

Bustos says an event to celebrate Callahan’s life is planned in Springfield on Friday.

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