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Henry Hyde Dies

Former Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) died early Thursday morning in a Chicago-area hospital, according to congressional sources. He was 83.

Hyde underwent open-heart surgery back in July and never completely recovered from the procedure, said a source close to Hyde.

Hyde served 32 years in the House beginning in 1974, including stints as chairman of the Judiciary and International Relations committees. He also served in the Illinois legislature for eight years, rising to

Hyde was chairman of the Judiciary panel during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998. reported in Sept. 1998 that Hyde had carried on an extra-marital affair in the late 1960s, for which Hyde publicly apologized.

The courtly Hyde, a former Illinois state legislator, was known for his strong opposition to abortion. Hyde was the author of an 1977 amendment, which is still in place, barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.

Hyde is survived by a wife and three children. His oldest son, Henry "Hank" Hyde, Jr., died  nearly two years ago of liver cancer.

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