Michael Garver Oxley

michael oxley
Former U.S. Representative Michael Garver Oxley, who spent 34 years in public life, died peacefully at his home on January 1, 2016, from non-small-cell lung cancer. He was 71 years old. Immediate survivors are his wife of 45 years, Patricia Pluguez Oxley, son Chadd Elvis Oxley, daughter-in-law Jennifer Gennaro Oxley, a grandson, and brother Tom Oxley.

He was born in Findlay, Ohio, on February 11, 1944, to Garver and Maxine (Wolfe) Oxley. He made his political ambitions known early in his life when a letter he had written for a grade-school assignment was published by a columnist in his hometown newspaper. First elected as president of the student body at his alma mater, Miami University, he never lost a political contest.

A lifelong Republican, Oxley represented Ohio's Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 25 years, 1981 through 2006, retiring from the House in January, 2007. He rose to become Chairman of the newly created Committee on Financial Services in January of 2001, serving in that position for three successive terms with jurisdiction covering the issues of banking, housing, securities and exchanges, government-sponsored enterprises, insurance, and monetary policy.

He led the Committee through the aftermath of the bursting of the tech bubble in the late 1990s; through 9/11 and its effects on the financial sector of the economy; and through the period of corporate bankruptcies and that started with the collapse of Enron in late 2001. He began the congressional investigations of the scandals and accounting problems and is best known for his co-authorship of the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Based on the principles of corporate accountability and transparency, the law restored Americans' confidence in the capital markets, raised standards of corporate governance, and created a new accounting oversight board for publicly traded companies.

Known for his ability to bring Republicans and Democrats to agreement, Mr. Oxley successfully completed many significant pieces of legislation in the Financial Services Committee, many of which are now law. The Committee's initiatives under his leadership included: the Terrorism Risk Protection Act to provide a federal backstop for terrorism risk for commercial insurance after 9/11; the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act to modernize the check-clearing system; the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to prohibit the use of U.S. payment systems for unlawful Internet gambling; the anti-money-laundering title of the USA PATRIOT Act; the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) to provide consumers with a free annual credit report; the Presidential $1 Coin Act to begin a new series of coins featuring U.S. presidents; the Military Services Personnel Financial Services Protection Act to improve the quality of financial services products sold to military personnel; the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act to increase the amount of insured deposits; the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act to create a world-class regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Reform of National Security Reviews of Foreign Direct Investments Act to reform the structure and procedures of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States; and the Credit Rating Agency Duopoly Relief Act to admit new market participants and to create competition in the rating agency industry.

A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee from 1983 to 2001, Mr. Oxley was well-known for his knowledge of federal telecommunications and energy policy. He was Chairman of the Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee from 1995 to 2001, and he made significant contributions to the Telecommunications Act, the Clean Air Act Amendments, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. As subcommittee chairman, he moved legislation that led to the U.S. capital markets quoting stock prices in dollars and cents, instead of the outdated system of fractions. The change resulted in more affordable trading for investors, and the move modernized the U.S. capital markets and saved investors untold billions of dollars in transaction costs.

An avid sports fan, Oxley rallied his colleagues in Congress to play a daily game of pickup basketball. He played many congressional sports and is particularly remembered for his involvement in the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. He played every position for the Republicans except for pitcher and catcher and managed the GOP team for eight seasons, racking up a winning record of 7-1 that put him in the Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame.

Following his retirement from Congress, he became of counsel with the Ohio-based law firm BakerHostetler, where he advised clients on a wide variety of business and public policy matters. He was also a senior advisor to the board of directors of the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. He was a popular speaker on business and economic issues with domestic and international audiences.

Prior to his election to Congress in 1981, Mr. Oxley was a special agent of the FBI in Washington, Boston, and New York and a member of the Ohio General Assembly for nine years. He practiced law with the firm Oxley, Malone, Fitzgerald, and Hollister in Findlay.

Mr. Oxley earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University in 1966 and his J.D. from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law in 1969.

At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Ethics and Compliance Initiative; chairman of the Lung Cancer Alliance; a member of the Miami University Foundation board of directors; a trustee of the University of Findlay; and a member of the Society of former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He supported the Center for Business Excellence at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University. In 2014, he established the Oxley Government Center at the Hancock County Historical Museum in Findlay.

Relatives and friends are invited to Mr. Oxley's visitation at Money and King Funeral Home, 171 W. Maple Ave., Vienna, VA on Monday, January 4 from 6-8 PM. Also, visitation will be held at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA on Tuesday, January 5 from 1 PM until Mass of Christian Burial at 2 PM. Interment will be held in Findlay, Ohio.

Funeral Home:

Money & King Funeral Home

171 W. Maple Ave.

Vienna, VA

US 22180

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Memories Timeline


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with the Oxley family at this very difficult time. I had the privilege of being part of “Team Oxley” under his Chairmanship with the Committee on Financial Services and appreciated his kindness and leadership. May he rest in peace knowing of the positive influence he made in so many lives. And, may God bless his family and help them through this great loss.

  2. I had the privilege of working with Mike since the late ’80s when he was a leader in the anti-drug efforts and I was counsel to the Judiciary Committee. We also served together on the ECI board. Mike cared deeply about doing good and was a true gentleman, the type of leader the world needs.

  3. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike’s beautiful family. Mike was a wonderful man and Representative of his District. He will be missed by so many of us who were fortunate to know him and be influenced by him. With love and respect, Carrie (previously of Congressman Oxley’s Mansfield, Ohio District Office)

  4. Blessed is the true judge. Pat, Elvis and family, our thoughts are with you. Too may memories of ski trips and golf courses to recount. Our love, Dan & Rachel Cohen & Family

  5. Elvis and family – our most sincere condolences in this time of loss. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you during this trying time. The Dunn Family

  6. I am a Findlay native and have worked in Washington, DC as a health care lobbyist for many years. I knew Mike when he lived in Findlay and got to know him even better when he was a Congressman and I met with him and his staff on issues that were being reviewed by the Energy and Commerce Committee. I also know he had an excellent reputation with both Republicans and Democrats and was missed when he left Congress. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, son and brother.

  7. My condolences to the entire family. Golf, skiing, Europe and even a little legislation. It was all better because of Mike and the Oxley family. Mike’s WAS a life well lived. Savor the memories and know the reunion will come in due time. All the best. Jim Chapman

  8. Elvis and family, My heart and sympathy go out to you in this time of sorrow. I personally did not know your Father but grew up in Ohio so I heard many great things about him. I appreciate his service for our country and thank you for sharing him with us to help our nation. My prayers are with you. God Bless and I am truly sorry for your loss.

  9. A good friend, a great companion, an exceptional public servant, and a warm and witty human being. Mike will be very much missed! My thoughts and prayers are for Pat and the family.

  10. It has been a genuine privilege to have served with Mike on the ECI Board during these past several years, after having first crossed paths with him on Capitol Hill. I shall greatly miss his many thoughtful and kind gestures and his wonderful sense of humor, as well as his skill and integrity as a leader.

  11. We have lost a dear friend,confidant and natural leader . His quick smile and wit defused his detractors.He lit up the room.While politics was his passion he was equally engaging conversing on family,travel,music and sports.He possessed a quintessential charm and grace whether with the annointed or the less so.Hewas the romantic lead in his own movie . He married his sweetheart,triumphed over bad and left us cheering.People who disliked Ox either never met him or were jealous.Good night sweet prince .We are better in the consolation of knowing you

  12. Pat and Elvis: So many memories over the years but my favorite was his passion for the teaching students about the Constitution and Bill of Rights through We The People and our tours of the Dome of the US Capital. God Bless Libby Bob Cupp, Lima OH

  13. Pat and Elvis: So many memories over the years but my favorite was his passion for the teaching students about the Constitution and Bill of Rights through We The People and our tours of the Dome of the US Capital. God Bless Libby Bob Cupp, Lima OH

  14. America is a little smaller and a lot sadder today with the passing of our good friend Mike. We have known Mike, Pat and Chad since our days in The Ohio General Assembly way too long ago. Time however, has not diminished our respect and admiration for his lifelong commitment to the good of our public order. His wit disarmed you; his command of issues impressed you; and his ability to bring disparate sides to the table amazed you. He will be missed.

  15. As the Legislative Liaison from the National Association of Postmasters of the US, I met with the Congressman and members of his staff several times each year for over ten years. He was very supportive of my personal efforts as Curator of the Museum of Postal History in Delphos. He will be missed. Please accept my condolences and may you find peace and joy in the memories of an honorable life.

  16. Congressman Oxley was a pleasant hard working man and my husband and I wish to extend our condolences to his family. He was a wonderful Congressman and always cared for his constituents.

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