Former councilman, mayoral candidate Crawford dies

Dr. John Crawford
Dr. John Crawford(WPTA)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Dr. John Crawford, who carved out two influential career paths -- in medicine and in politics -- has died at the age of 73.

Crawford was first elected to City Council in 1995, and he served three terms before a 2007 defeat largely linked to his support for a public smoking ban. He was re-elected four years later, then sought the Republican nomination for mayor in 2019.

Crawford fell short in a primary contest won by Tim Smith, though Smith himself would fail to unseat Mayor Tom Henry in the general election.

It marked the end of the political career for the radiologist who became one of the City’s more prominent elected officials.

On Council, Crawford took up many traditional Republican positions and was seen as a leading voice for economic development and low taxes. He was among those championing the Electric Works project and he supported a “zero-based budgeting” approach in government, which he believed would more effectively assign public funds.

Crawford was born in New Orleans and received undergraduate (1968) and medical (1972) degrees from Louisiana State University.

He moved to Fort Wayne in 1976.

As a physician, Crawford said he “(found) the intense doctor-patient relationship rewarding,” and that he “(enjoyed) the high tech aspects of the job, such as staying up with the latest in diagnostic and treatment methods.”

Those who worked alongside the longtime Council member were among the first to offer condolences.

“It is with a very sad heart that I am sending this note about my dear friend John Crawford’s passing,” Councilman Tom Didier said. “My heart goes out to Marcia and Grant as well as the many lives he’s touched through his medical practice and public service.

“I will always remember his intelligence and his passion at the the city council table and our private conversations about the future of Fort Wayne. His presence, his great advice, and most importantly his friendship will be dearly missed. Please keep the Crawford family in your prayers.”

Dr. John Crawford
Dr. John Crawford(WPTA)

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