A tribute to Paul de la Garza

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of florida

in the house of representatives

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Paul de la Garza, a hard charging newspaper reporter for The St. Petersburg Times with a generous heart of gold who died on October 29, 2006.

Many of our colleagues worked with Paul as he reported on stories affecting our national security and the health care of our country's veterans. Paul was an outstanding investigative reporter who mined his many sources to effect necessary changes in the way in which we deliver medical care at our Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. He also spent time earlier this summer in Iraq as he did extensive reporting on the war there and the role U.S. Central Command plays in managing our troops on the ground.

Paul was more than a reporter though. He was first and foremost an outstanding husband to his wife Georgia and a loving father to his two children Monica, 12, and Carlos, 11, both of whom he adopted from Mexico.

His is the story of the American dream, growing up poor in a small Texas town. He worked 40 hour weeks as a fourth grader to help out his family. Later he delivered newspapers and waited tables to put himself through college at the University of Texas. He was a reporter with the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune before becoming a regular on the front pages of The St. Petersburg Times as a reporter in the Washington and Tampa bureaus.

Following my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I would like to include tributes to Paul from The St. Petersburg Times, The Tampa Tribune and The Chicago Tribune. They speak to Paul's success as a reporter but more importantly his compassion and love for his family, his friends, and for those most in need of help.

Mr. Speaker, I knew Paul de la Garza as a reporter, but I will forever miss him as a very special friend who always kept life's priorities in order. My prayers go out to Paul's family, especially to Georgia, Monica and Carlos, as they deal with the loss of a great man, a great husband and a great father.

[From the St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 30, 2006]

Passionate Reporter "Never Met A Stranger"

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).