Bunnell, Florida
Thursday, March 30, 1944


William Joseph Sears, Sr., 70, who served in congress 18 years as representative from Florida, died at his home at Kissimmee today, following a lingering illness.

He suffered a stroke last January and for a time appeared to be recovering, but later had a relapse and grew steadily worse. Sears, a native of Smithville, Ga., but a resident of' Florida since he was six years old, was first elected to congress from the old Fourth District in 1914, after holding several city and county offices.,

He served continuously as Fourth District representative until he was succeeded by Mrs. Ruth Bryan Owen, daughter, of William Jennings Bryan, who defeated him in the 1928 Democratic primaries after an unsuccessful race against him in 1926.

Making a political comeback, Sears returned to congress in 1932 as representative from the state at large and served two two-year terms.