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Associated Press, Published October 18 2013

Ex-House Speaker Tom Foley dies at 84

WASHINGTON – Tall and courtly, Tom Foley served 30 years in the House when partisan confrontation was less rancorous than today and Democrats had dominated for decades.

Foley, the first speaker to be booted from office by his constituents since the Civil War, died Friday at the age of 84 of complications from a stroke, according to his wife, Heather.

She said he had suffered a stroke last December and was hospitalized in May with pneumonia. He returned home after a week and had been on hospice care there ever since.

“America has lost a legend of the United States Congress,” President Barack Obama said in a statement Friday.

Foley, who grew up in a politically active family in Spokane, Wash., represented that agriculture-heavy area for 15 terms in the House, including more than five years in the speaker’s chair.

Foley later served as U.S. ambassador to Japan for four years in the Clinton administration.

Foley attended Gonzaga Preparatory School and Gonzaga University in Spokane. He graduated from the University of Washington Law School and worked as a prosecutor and assistant state attorney general and as counsel for the Senate Interior Committee for three years.