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Former Rep. Henry Hyde dead at 83

This article is more than 13 years old.

Former Rep. Henry Hyde, the Illinois Republican who steered the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and championed government restrictions on the funding of abortions, has died. He was 83.

The death of the Illinois Republican was announced Thursday morning on Capitol Hill by the office of House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Mary Ann Schultz, a spokeswoman for Rush University Medical Center, said Hyde died Thursday at 3 a.m. CST at that hospital. There was no immediate word on the cause of his death.

Hyde retired from Congress at the end of the last session. Days before leaving office, President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House praised Hyde, a leading foe of abortion, as a "powerful defender of life'' and an advocate for a strong national defense.

"What often struck me most about Henry was his keen sense of our nation's history and of the gifts bestowed on our Republic by the Founding Fathers, whose actions and deeds were never far from his mind,'' Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "In his respect for the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, Henry took second place to no one. He was a forceful advocate for maintaining the dignity of the House and for recognizing the sacrifices and struggles members make while in its service. Indeed, when Henry spoke in Committee or on the House floor, Members on both sides of aisle listened intently and they learned.''

Said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee: "Chairman Hyde was a pioneer in the effort to protect human life, and because of his tireless efforts, there are thousands of people living around the world today who remember his service to mankind,'' said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee.

This program aired on November 29, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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