John Porter was for several years a member of the United States House of Representatives. A moderate Republican, he represented the 10th District of Illinois, located in the Chicago region.

During his career in Congress, Porter garnered the reputation of being a human rights champion. Porter co-founded and later chaired what is referred to today as the House Human Rights Commission. He would also be credited for policies helping to advance medical research.

Has passed away following admission to a hospital

John Porter has died. Porter had apparently been recently hospitalized for an undisclosed reason.

The cause of death was apparently pneumonia. His passing was followed closely by that of his former colleague John Cooksey. Cooksey had been a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana.

Democratic Illinois U.S. Senator Richard Durbin has been among those to pay tribute to Porter. Durbin is currently the Senate majority whip and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His office issued a press release, and Durbin himself also gave a memorial speech on the Senate floor.

Porter's political career began with the Illinois House of Representatives, which he first became a member of in 1973. He first ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, losing to the Democratic incumbent Abner Mikva.

The following year, President Carter appointed Mikva to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He eventually became its chief judge.

A special election was held to fill the vacancy in the U.S. House following Mikva's departure. Porter would run again, this time winning, and would take office in 1980.

He was re-elected a further ten times to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Among his duties in Congress was serving on the House Appropriations Committee. Porter would chair its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. During his tenure, he helped increase funding for the National Institutes of Health.

Also helped to launch the Human Genome Project and advance research into diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, and diabetes.

Porter did not run for re-election in 2000. He was succeeded in the House by his chief of staff, Mark Kirk.

Was a soldier and an attorney

John Porter was a native of Evanston, Illinois. He would graduate from Evanston Township High School before attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eventually, he graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School.

Afterward, Porter worked with the U.S. Department of Justice as an honor law graduate. Eventually, he went into private practice. Along the way, he also served in the United States Army.