Posted: Dec. 15, 2003


Delaware's leading officials offered statements of remembrance and condolences on the death of U.S. Sen. William V. Roth Jr., their Republican colleague who died Saturday at the age of 82.



U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democrat, served with Roth in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2001.

"First and foremost, Bill Roth was my friend. Although we represented different political parties in the U.S. Senate for 30 years, we never had a harsh word for each other and never uttered a disparaging word about one another.

"There is no one in public life that I trusted more than Bill Roth.

"My heart goes out to Jane, Katie and Bud and their children over the loss of Bill."



U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, a Democrat, worked with Roth in the state's three-member congressional delegation from 1983 to 1993 when Carper was in the U.S. House of Representatives. After two terms as governor, Carper challenged Roth for his Senate seat in 2000 and ended Roth's political career.

“Senator Roth gave Delaware a good name in Washington and left a lasting imprint on matters ranging from the Roth IRA to Kemp-Roth tax legislation to military procurement reform, and a host of other areas important to Delaware and our country. I and all Delawareans offer the Roth family our deepest sympathies and also our heartfelt thanks for sharing with us such a great and gentle man.”



U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle, a Republican, was elected to the Congress in 1993 after two terms as governor and served with Roth in the state's delegation from 1993 to 2001.

"My heart goes out to the family of Senator Roth.  This is a tragic loss for them and for all Delawareans for whom Senator Roth worked so hard in the Senate. All will sorely miss him.  Senator Roth was one of the great leaders of the U.S. Senate, representing Delaware for 30 years and serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

"Senator Roth was strongly devoted to his duties as Senator. I highly respect his work as a lawmaker and his lifelong commitment to Delaware. Bill Roth dedicated his life to serving the people of Delaware and his passing is a tragic loss to all those who knew him and whom he helped. 

"Bill Roth served the United States Congress, the people of Delaware and our nation with great distinction.  He leaves a legacy for his innovative ideas on savings and tax issues, his extensive involvement in international relations, and the excellence of the constituent work of the Senator and his staff. The Roth IRA, named in his honor, will help Americans for generations to come.  We have lost a true giant of Delaware politics."


Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, a Democrat, ordered that U.S. and state flags be lowered to half-staff beginning Monday in tribute to Roth.

“Bill Roth was the epitome of public service in Delaware. He was warm, genuine, accessible, effective, respectful and respected. His many years serving the people of Delaware earned him a place in their hearts that few politicians reach.

"Sen. Roth’s work in the areas of reducing taxes, balancing the federal budget, reforming government, leading foreign relations and preserving the environment are well-known. But that was on the national and international stage. Here at home, he was known for his caring, for his impressive service to his constituents and for the lovable dogs that were his trademark.

"So I was pleased in January to present Sen. Roth with the Order of the First State, the highest honor that can be presented by a Delaware governor. My thoughts and prayers go out today to Jane, to his children and to his grandchildren and family. Delaware is no doubt a different and better place for Bill Roth’s time here.”