Big Al, 99, Enters the Hip-Hop Era

To old-timers he might be remembered as "Taxellini," the nickname he earned for hiking the state sales tax in the 1960s; to newcomers, he's the guy who doled out illegal political funds to City Council members in 2003, playing the role of Rainmaker for stripper king Frank Colacurcio. And to the record books, he's America's oldest living ex-governor. His chances of making it to his 100th birthday in January dimmed ever so slightly last weekend, however, when The Governor - the title Albert D. Rosellini still prefers he be called - fell and broke a hip. He's now recovering after surgery, the AP reports today, and he is likely to be walking again by next week. Even at 99 he could still be found almost daily at his Georgetown office, and was planning to participate in a charity golf event Monday at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge with Gov. Chris Gregoire and three ex-governors, including U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. His energy seemed hardly dissipated from the years (1957 to 1965) when he was one of the country's most go-go guvs, laboring to reform the prison and mental health systems, crusading for better schools, pushing for a second bridge across Lake Washington (the 520/Evergreen Point Bridge is officially the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge), and, perhaps most important to him today, creating the University of Washington Medical School: That's where Big Al spent most of this week in treatment. "We're hoping for a speedy recovery," says daughter Jane Campbell.

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