Former Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde Dead

CHICAGO (AP) -- Former Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde died today at the age of 83.

Hyde's 32 years in Congress were highlighted by his unbending opposition to abortion and his key role in impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.

A hospital spokeswoman says Hyde died at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago early this morning.

The Illinois Republican was first elected to Congress in 1974 and retired in January 2007.

President Bush honored Hyde's long government career by awarding him the nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- earlier this month.

At the time, Hyde wasn't well enough to travel to Washington to accept the award because he was in a rehabilitation hospital recuperating from heart bypass surgery he underwent July.

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