William R. Roy
He attended the Lexington, Illinois public schools and earned a B.S. from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1945 as well as a B.M. from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 1948. He received an M.D. from Northwestern in 1949 as well as a J.D. from Washburn University Law School in Topeka, Kansas, 1970. He did his obstetrics and gynecology residency at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Roy served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and was a military doctor at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka; he was discharged with rank of captain.
He practiced medicine in Topeka from 1955 to 1970 and was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-second and Ninety-third Congresses (January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1975). He changed his registration in 1970 to run as a Democrat.
He was not a House candidate in 1974 for reelection, but was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in that year; in a bitter race, he lost to Bob Dole only by a few thousand votes. In a 1996 interview with PBS, he explained his decision to seek election to the Senate, saying, “I was far from an admirer of Bob Dole, I’ll tell you that. He’d been around and he had been pretty much a hatchet man, both in Kansas, and as far as President Nixon was concerned. And so I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to take him out of politics, which I thought was very important at that time.” He ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1978 but lost to Nancy Kassebaum. He resumed the practice of medicine in Topeka until 1989. He sought a rematch with Kassebaum in 1990 won the Democratic Primary but dropped out of the race citing personal issues. His replacement was runner up Dick Williams.
Since 1989, Roy was a regular columnist for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His columns often reflected a liberal perspective, including support for abortion rights and opposition to the policies of President George W. Bush. His 2001–2002 columns in The Topeka Metro News rallied sentiment to stop the sale of Kansas Blue Cross Blue Shield to Anthem of Indianapolis (now merged into Wellpoint).
Roy died in Topeka on May 26, 2014.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
- Roy, Bill (2006-11-11). “In Kansas, being there is what matters”. The Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, Kansas: Morris Communications. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Roy, Bill (2007-02-17). “No issue has affected politics like this one”. The Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, Kansas: Morris Communications. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Dr. Bill Roy (May 1, 1996). “Stories of Bob”. Frontline (transcript). WGBH-TV. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Roy, Bill (1999-06-29). “Bill Roy: Clinton years haven’t been all that bad”. The Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, Kansas: Morris Communications. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Roy, Bill (2003-11-01). “It’s time for closure after two years of contention”. The Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, Kansas: Morris Communications. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- United States Congress. “William R. Roy (id: R000484)”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Bill Roy’s columns (labeled as a “blog”) on The Topeka Capital-Journal website
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