St. Louis resident S. Lee Kling, who became a national figure in Democratic Party politics, has died of lung cancer at the age of 79.

Kling was a businessman who held a number of political posts, including Democratic National Committee Finance Chairman during the 1970s. He served as treasurer of President Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign and work on Congressman Dick Gephardt’s campaigns for the White House.

In Missouri, Kling served as Chairman of the State Highway and Transportation Commission. In 2006, Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) appointed Kling to the Missouri Veterans’ Commission. Earlier this year, Blunt named Kling to the Missouri Development and Finance Board.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has released a statement on Kling’s death, saying, "He cared deeply about his country and his community and saw his interest in getting good candidates elected as his patriotic duty. "