President George W. Bush called him “a statesman and a leader” who was “admired by Republicans and Democrats alike for his thirty years of tireless work for the people he represented and the country he loved.” David Brinkley described him as “one of the most interesting members of Congress.” David Broder stated that he was “the best example of . . . the large-minded spirit . . . our nation needs.” Rowland Evans and Robert Novak dubbed him “one of the cleverest, most subtle figures on Capitol Hill.” George Will wrote, “One glance tells you: God had a congressman in mind when He made John Rhodes. And he is just what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they designed the House of Representatives, the body intended to be closest to the common man. . . . His name is not a household word, and probably never will be. To his credit, he probably doesn’t mind a bit.”
But who was John Rhodes, this man whose name never became a household word but who was one of the great Congressional leaders of the twentieth century?