After serving in the military, he graduated from Utica College in 1961 and managed public relations for the Wyandotte Chemical Company.
Drawn into politics as a supporter of relatively progressive New York Republicans like Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and Senator Jacob K. Javits, he went to work for Rep. Alexander Pirnie, a Republican from the upstate, becoming his chief of staff. He then held the same post for Mr. Pirnie’s successor, Donald J. Mitchell, also a Republican.
He successfully ran for the Oneida County executive and, after serving a four-year term, was elected to Congress in 1982. His district in central New York City included the National Baseball Hall of Fame to Cooperstown, who helped explain the Yankee badges in his office, as well as Cornell University. Unlike many of his colleagues, he went home to his neighborhood every weekend.
When he announced in 2006 that he would not be running again, he said The after-norm of Syracused that he regretted the growing division in Washington.
“I came to Capitol Hill 42 years ago, and I’ve never seen a higher level of partisanship and a lower level of tolerance for the other guy’s point of view,” he said. .
After the death of Mr Boehlert, Chuck Schumer, the Democrat of New York who is the majority leader in the Senate, congratulated him on his “rich heritage, his support for science, his commitment to the fight against change. climate and his deep love ”for his district.
Mr. Boehlert married Marianne Willey in 1976. With her he is survived by two children, Tracy VanHook and Leslie Wetteland, and a stepson, Mark Brooks, from his marriage to Jean Bone, which ended in a divorce; a daughter-in-law, Brooke Phillips, from his wife’s first marriage; and six grandchildren.