Tom Foley, former House speaker and Eastern Washington congressman, dies at 84

WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Tom Foley has died at the age of 84 in his home.

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 from Eastern Washington lost his seat in the “Republican Revolution” of 1994. The Democrat had never served a single day in the minority. He was defeated by Republican George Nethercutt, a Spokane lawyer.

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.

Last modified: October 18. 2013 9:32AM
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