Nov 29,2007 00:00
CHICAGO -- Former Illinois Republican congressman Henry Hyde, a key figure during impeachment proceedings of U.S. President Bill Clinton, died Thursday at age 83.
His death was announced by the office of House of Representatives Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The Chicago Sun-Times quoted family members as saying Hyde died after complications apparently stemming from heart surgery last summer.
Hyde, who represented the western Chicago suburbs in Congress for 32 years, often was viewed as a throwback to a more genteel, courtly time in Washington politics.
He was chairman the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001 and served as the lead House manager during Clinton's impeachment trial. Hyde had maintained the House of Representatives was constitutionally bound to impeach Clinton for perjury.
He opted not to seek re-election in 2006.
Hyde was the darling of the anti-abortion rights movement for his sponsorship of what became known as the Hyde Amendment, which essentially withdrew federal funding for abortions since its first passage in 1976.
Earlier in November, Hyde was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
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