Henry Hyde, the former Illinois congressman who was a powerful conservative voice in the capital for decades, died today at 83. As the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Hyde took the lead in the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. He was a vocal foe of abortion, sponsoring what came to be known as the Hyde Amendment, which cut off federal funding for the procedure.
The 32-year veteran of the House was known for his flights of oratory and his courtly manners, which belied fierce GOP partisanship, the Chicago Tribune reports. Hyde was unable to make it to Washington earlier this month to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as he was recovering from heart surgery in an Illinois hospital.