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Jim Wright
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U.S. Congressman
    (December 22, 1922-May 6, 2015)
    Born in Fort Worth, Texas
    Represented the 12th District of Texas (1955-89)
    House Majority Leader (1977-87)
    Speaker of the House (1987-89)
    He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate seat vacated when Lyndon Johnson became Vice-President (1961).
    He voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that desegregated publc accomodations.
    He was accused of using his influence to get John Mack, a member of his extended family (Mack's brother was married to Wright's daughter), paroled after serving only 29 months of a 15-year sentence for assaulting a woman by hitting her in the head with a hammer, stabbing her with a steak knife and slitting her throat.
    He became the first Speaker to resign over ethics charges.
    He was accused of accepting over $140,000 in gifts from a Fort Worth developer, including a salary to his wife for a job that entailed no actual work.
    He was also accused of evading the limit on speaking fees by having groups that he spoke to make bulk purchases of books he wrote.
    He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a bomber pilot in World War II.
    He voted against the pro-segregation Southern Manifesto (1956).
    He voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
    Ironically, Newt Gingrich, who initiated the ethics investigation of Wright, would himself be found guilty of violations a decade later.
    He survived cancer of the tongue and jaw, and had part of his jawbone replaced with bone taken from his leg.

Credit: C. Fishel

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