DALLAS — Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright, the longtime Texas Democrat who became the first House speaker in history to be driven out of office in midterm, has died. He was 92.
The World War II veteran and author, often praised for his eloquence and oratorical skills, was living in a nursing home when he died early Wednesday morning, according to the Harveson and Cole funeral home in Fort Worth. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Wright represented a Fort Worth-area congressional district for 34 years, beginning with his election in 1954. He was the Democratic majority leader in the House for a decade, rising to the speakership in January 1987, to replace Tip O’Neill.
Although three House speakers had resigned before Wright stepped down in 1989, they all served during the 19th century — and none before him had been under fire and facing judgment in the House for breaking its ethics rules.