Courtly, powerful speaker of Va. House for 12 years

John Warren Cooke, 94, who served 12 years as the quietly influential speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, died Nov. 28 at his home in the Mathews County town of Gloucester. The cause of death could not be learned.

Mr. Cooke, the last member of the Virginia legislature who was the son of a Confederate veteran, was the Democratic majority leader in the House of Delegates for 12 years before becoming speaker in 1968.

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