A former U.S. congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs passed away suddenly Tuesday. 

U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar, a Democrat, represented Delaware County from 1975 until 1987.

Philadelphia NAACP head Jerry Mondesire knew Edgar from back when Mondesire was an aide to Congressman Bill Gray. He says Edgar was part of the wave of Democrats elected after Watergate.

"It was a reform movement that swept across the country, electing Democrat and progressive candidates who stood up to the monied interests and the old politicians that didn't ask questions and went along with the Vietnam War," Mondesire said.

Mondesire said he was shocked at the news of Edgar's passing at the age of 69.

"He was very careful about the reputation he had, the kind of people he accepted money from, and the causes he fought for," Mondesire said. "He was very pro-peace, very strong in the anti-apartheid movement in the early '80s, very pro civil rights, very progressive in most of his causes and just a standup kind of guy."

After losing a campaign for US Senate in 1986, Edgar led the National Council of Churches. He had been at Common Cause since 2007 helping raise that organization's profile.