Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, a conservative Missouri Republican whose remark that ladies’s our bodies have a manner of avoiding pregnancies in circumstances of “legitimate rape” sunk his bid for the U.S. Senate and have become a cautionary story for different GOP candidates, died late Sunday. He was 74.

Akin had most cancers for a number of years, his son, Perry, mentioned in an announcement. He died at his residence in Wildwood, a St. Louis suburb.

“As my father’s death approached, we had people from all different walks of life share story after story of the personal impact he had on them,” Perry Akin mentioned in an announcement to The Associated Press.

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Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., speaks during a news conference on the new Health and Human Services Department abortion rule on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., speaks throughout a information convention on the brand new Health and Human Services Department abortion rule on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“He was a devote Christian, a great father, and a friend to many. We cherish many fond memories from him driving the tractor at our annual hayride, to his riveting delivery of the freedom story at 4th of July parties dressed in the full uniform of a colonial minuteman. The family is thankful for his legacy: a man with a servant’s heart who stood for truth.”

Akin represented a Republican-leaning japanese Missouri district that included St. Louis-area suburbs for 12 years, giving up a protected seat to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012. He emerged from a crowded GOP major to problem then-incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, solely to noticeably harm Republicans’ probabilities of recapturing a Senate majority lower than two weeks later.

Akin, a powerful abortion opponent, was requested throughout an interview by a St. Louis tv station whether or not he supported permitting abortions for girls who’ve been raped. He answered that “from what I understand from doctors” that such pregnancies are “really rare.”

He added: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

His feedback sparked an outcry. The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, instantly rebuked Akin and mentioned his marketing campaign would enable abortions in such circumstances.

Criticism of Akin’s remarks clouded his U.S. Senate bid till the tip, making him a logo of how Republicans may fumble away races that they had a very good likelihood of profitable with a candidate deemed too far to the correct. Akin’s marketing campaign initially mentioned he “misspoke,” and Akin later mentioned he was incorrect.

Akin confronted strain from the nationwide GOP to withdraw and permit the state social gathering to select a alternative. He refused and ended up dropping the race by practically 16 proportion factors, receiving 39% of the vote. Yet different Republican officers and officeholders throughout the U.S. often echoed his remarks — signaling how conservative among the social gathering’s base had change into on the problem.

Two years later, Akin revealed a e-book, “Firing Back,” wherein he accused GOP leaders of abandoning him and letting McCaskill win and labeling information organizations as bullies. In the e-book, he additionally retracted his public apology for his “legitimate rape” comment.

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Akin by no means ran for workplace once more, although early in 2015, he briefly fueled hypothesis a few 2016 major problem to GOP U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt with remarks that tea social gathering Republicans needed “new blood.”

Akin was born July 5, 1947, in New York City, however grew up within the St. Louis space. He acquired a bachelor’s diploma in engineering and administration from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts in 1970, served within the U.S. Army, and labored for IBM. He labored in company administration on the St. Louis-based Laclede Steel Co.

He received a seat within the Missouri House in 1988 and served within the Legislature for 10 years. He received Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District seat in 2000 and was re-elected 5 occasions. He additionally served on the board of the anti-abortion group Missouri Right to Life.

In the 2012 U.S. Senate major, Akin confronted two formidable opponents, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.

Many Democrats thought McCaskill’s finest shot at profitable reelection can be with Akin because the GOP nominee. Her marketing campaign aired tv advertisements suggesting Akin was too conservative, Brunner was not a dependable conservative and Steelman represented “more politics as usual.”

Republicans took the advertisements as McCaskill’s try to assist Akin win the GOP major. An autobiography that McCaskill revealed in 2015 mentioned she additionally tried to spice up Akin’s marketing campaign by urging it via again channels to renew airing a tv advert that includes an endorsement from former conservative GOP presidential candidate and ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

McCaskill’s strikes paid off. Akin prevailed within the eight-person GOP subject with solely 36% of the vote.

and 18 grandchildren.