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Former U.S. House Speaker Foley Dies At Age 84


Former House of Representatives Speaker Thomas Foley is seen in Tokyo in 1999, when he was ambassador to Japan.

Former House of Representatives Speaker Thomas Foley is seen in Tokyo in 1999, when he was ambassador to Japan.

Reports from Washington say Tom Foley, an influential Democrat and former speaker of the House of Representatives, has died.

He was 84 years old and had been in declining health.

His wife, Heather, has confirmed the reports of his death.

Foley, from the state of Washington, served in Congress from 1965 to 1995.

He was the House speaker from 1989 to 1995.

He was the first House speaker from any U.S. state west of the Rocky Mountains.

He also was the first speaker of the House since 1862 to be defeated in a reelection campaign for Congress.

After that defeat in the 1994 elections, when a Republican majority was swept into power in the House of Representatives, Foley served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and "USA Today"
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