Tom Foley Dies; Former House Speaker Was 84

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Tom Foley, the former U.S. Congressman from Washington State and Speaker of the House from 1989-95, has passed away at the age of 84.

Foley passed away due to complications from a stroke, which he suffered last December. Wife Heather said he was hospitalized in May with pneumonia.

He returned home but had been under hospice care there ever since.

T. Foley

After being ousted from Congress in 1994 after 30 years, Foley also served as U.S. ambassador to Japan for four years in the Clinton administration.

He was replaced as speaker by his nemesis, Georgia Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich, who later called Washington the "ground zero" of 1994.

That wave election gave Republicans their first control of the House in 40 years. The GOP held the House majority until 2006, then regained it in 2010.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., herself House Speaker from 1997-2011, called Foley "a quintessential champion of the common good."

She added, "Speaker Foley's unrivaled ability to build consensus and find common ground earned him genuine respect on both sides of the aisle."

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