Politics | News

Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84

OPB | Oct. 18, 2013 8:57 a.m.

Former House Speaker Tom Foley has died at the age of 84.

Foley’s wife, Heather, said the Washington state Democrat died at his home in the nation’s capital.

Foley became the first speaker since the Civil War to fail to win re-election in his home district.

The courtly politician lost his seat in the “Republican Revolution” of 1994. First elected to the House in 1965 from Washington’s 5th District, the Democrat had never served a single day in the minority. He was defeated by Republican Spokane lawyer George Nethercutt.

Foley served as U.S. ambassador to Japan for four years during the Clinton administration. But he spent the most time in the House, serving 30 years including more than five as speaker.

A native of Spokane, Washington he attended Gonzaga University.

 

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