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Monday, January 2, 2012 - 5:30am

Former Rep. Ed Jenkins Dies

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Jenkins, a Democrat who represented Georgia in Congress for 16 years, has died after a long illness. He was 78.

Janice Jenkins said early Monday that her father died Sunday afternoon at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

Jenkins was elected in 1976, the same year that another Georgian, Jimmy Carter, was elected president. He served on the House Budget and Ways and Means committees.

An attorney, Jenkins served in the Coast Guard and as a prosecutor before being elected to Congress. The Almanac of American Politics described him in 1990 as "one of the smartest operators on Capitol Hill."

After leaving Congress, Jenkins remained active in church and civic affairs and served on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. He would have turned 79 on Wednesday.

Jenkins is survived by his wife Jo, two daughters and two grandsons.