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Mental Health Lobbyist Dick Lockhart Retiring After 60 Years

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Most people look forward to retirement in their 60's, possibly their 70's. But not Illinois lobbyist Dick Lockhart.

He'll be pushing 100 when he calls it quits next week. CBS 2's Dana Kozlov spoke to the man who's just barely ready to retire.

At 93, Lockhart's recall for life events is still spot on. Perhaps that's because he surrounds himself with so mush history -- much of it, personal.

Lockhart is a World War II veteran. When he was 20-years-old, he became a prisoner of war after surviving the Battle of the Bulge, which may have set the tone for his 60-year career fighting for causes he believes in.

"It gave my strength. I felt confident about myself," he said.

But 58 years after first stepping foot in the state capitol as a lobbyist, logging half a million miles between Chicago and Springfield, and working with ten governors and hundreds of lawmakers, Lockhart is retiring next week. His failing eyesight and hearing are the only reasons he's calling it quits -- and it hasn't gone unnoticed.

"Dick Lockhart represents the little guys," Sen. Duck Durbin said.

"Because I believe in ethical behavior," Lockhard said.

That's why so many in the often cutthroat political world have saluted his work, sending him off now with nothing but well wishes after an unparalleled seven decade path.

"I just think I've gone as far as I can go, you might say."

When asked what legislation he was most proud of, Lockhart said he believes it's when he helped pass mental health parity. It requires insurance companies treat mental health issues the same as physical health issues.

Lockhart will be 94 in January.

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