Member Biography

R. (Robert) Lawrence Coughlin Jr.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1967       17 Republican
1968       17 Republican

COUNTIES: Montgomery, Delaware  


04/11/1929 - 11/30/2001

Captain R. (Robert) Lawrence Coughlin, Jr. (R17) Delaware (Part) and Montgomery (Part) Counties 1967-1968

Early Life:

Captain R. (Robert) Lawrence Coughlin, Jr., born April 11, 1929, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; son of Robert Lawrence Sr. and Evelyn Wich Coughlin; Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut, 1946; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, A.B., 1950; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, M.B.A., 1954; Temple University Evening Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, LL.B., 1958; admitted,  bar, lawyer, law firm, Saul Ewing, Philadelphia; manufacturer; captain, United States Marine Corps, Korean War, 1950-1952; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1966-1967; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1967-1968; elected, Republican, United States House of Representatives, 1969-1993; president, Friends of the United States National Arboretum; attorney, law firm, Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott; attorney, law firm, Thompson Coburn, 2001; married, Elizabeth Poole Sellers Worrell, 1950 (d.1953), daughter, Worrell Elizabeth Swan Coughlin Powell; married, Helen Combs Swan, children, Lisa Coughlin Powell, Lynne Coughlin Samson, Sara Coughlin Noon, R. Lawrence Coughlin III; married, Susan MacGregor Coughlin, 1980; died, November 30, 2001, Mathews, Mathews County, Virginia; interment, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member of Supreme, Superior Courts of Pennsylvania, Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Federal district Court Eastern District, Pennsylvania; chairman Subcommittee on Law; member Executive Committee of Committee of Seventy; director, Rosemont-Villanona Civic Association, Big Brother Association, Delaware Valley York, Incorporated, ENAC-Tritum Corporation, Penguin Associates Corporation. 

Early Career:

Enrolled, Yale University, majored in economics, member of Saint Anthony Hall, classmate of George Herbert Walker Bush, future, President, United States, graduated, 1950. Received, Master of Business Administration degree, Harvard Business School, 1954. Studies at Harvard were interrupted during the Korean War, when he served as a captain, United States Marine Corps, aide-de-camp, Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, 1950-1952. 

Following his military service, graduated, Temple University's law school, attending classes at night while a foreman on a steel assembly line during the day, 1958.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1966-1967. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 17th district, Joint State Government Commission Task Force on Penal Laws, 1967-1968, committee assignments, Constitutional Changes, and Federal Relations (vice chair), Elections and Reapportionment, Executive Nominations, Insurance, Judiciary General, Law and Order, Local Government, Ways and Means.

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Republican, United States House of Representatives, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, 101st, 102nd Congresses, 1969-1993; not a candidate for renomination, 103rd Congress, 1992; committee member, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, he supported increased funding for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, committee member, House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Known for his signature bowtie. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Nephew, Clarence Dennis Coughlin, represented Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district, 1921-1923.


The Pennsylvania Manual, (1967). Brittingham, G.R., (Editor). (Volume 98) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 87, 90, 92. Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 73.  

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Tuesday December 4, 2001 · page 81. 

The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) Thursday December 6, 2001 · page 100.

Robert Lawrence Coughlin Jr. (1929-2001) - Find a Grave Memorial


Congressional Biography

After 2 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, R. (Robert) Lawrence Coughlin Jr. went on to serve in congress