Champion of The Elderly

At 82, Claude Pepper is at the peak of his career

"There are only two Democrats who really bug Reagan," says a presidential aide. "One is Tip O'Neill, and the other is that Congressman who keeps talking about Social Security."

That Congressman watches the world through trifocals. He wears a pacemaker in his chest to quicken his heartbeat when it slows. One of his heart valves is synthetic; it replaced the natural one that developed a calcium deposit. He is nearly deaf without his hearing aids. A bulbous nose dominates his rumpled face, which...

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