Nathan Petrelli, Ex-Bearded Ex-Congressman, Dies at 40

Nathan Petrelli Photo: Courtesy of NBC

Nathan Petrelli, a former naval officer and district attorney from New York whose congressional career was cut short by his disfigurement and the disappearance of his brother, died last night in Odessa, Texas, when an assassin shot him twice in the chest in the midst of a press conference. He was 40. He is survived by Simon and Monty, his sons by his estranged wife, Heidi; by his brother, Peter; and by Claire Bennett, a child from a previous relationship.

After a successful career as a district attorney, Mr. Petrelli ran for Congress in his home district of Hyde Park, New York. Though his campaign was plagued by rumors of ties to the shadowy Linderman Group and was frequently struck by rumors about mental disorders suffered by his father and brother, Petrelli won the race and was elected to Congress. Hailed as a rising star of local politics, Petrelli, supporters believed, could even have become president if, say, some unthinkable cataclysm were to destroy New York.

However, Mr. Petrelli disappeared from public life shortly after his election. Horribly burned in the nuclear explosion of his brother, and healed by an infusion of another man's blood, Petrelli grew a bushy, unkempt beard, which demonstrated to all those who saw him that he was depressed. Later, he shaved it off, so that people would know he felt better. During a press conference in Odessa, Texas, during which Nathan planned to tell the world about his superpower of flight, he was shot twice in the chest and seemed to die, although seriously, who the hell really knows for sure?

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