Longtime legislator Jack Vergiels dies at 72

Jack Vergiels, the only legislator in Nevada history to serve as both speaker of the Assembly and Senate majority leader, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 72.

Vergiels served 20 years in the Nevada Legislature beginning in 1973. He was an assemblyman representing Las Vegas for 12 years, serving as majority floor leader in 1981 and speaker in 1983.

He won election to the Nevada Senate in 1983. When Democrats claimed the majority in 1991, Vergiels was named majority leader, becoming the only lawmaker to hold the top leadership position in both houses of the Legislature. He was named to the Senate Hall of Fame in 2007.

Vergiels, originally from Ohio, held a doctorate in education from the Univer-sity of Toledo. He taught education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas which, in 1998, honored him with the title of professor of education emeritus.

Services will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at Palm Mortuary, Green Valley, Las Vegas.


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