February 8th, 2010
02:52 PM ET
8 years ago

Congressman, combat veteran Murtha dead at 77


Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. John Murtha died Monday at age 77. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a longtime fixture on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending, died Monday following complications from gallbladder surgery, according to a statement from his office.

He was 77.

The veteran Democratic congressman recently underwent scheduled laparoscopic surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Murtha was hospitalized in December and had to postpone a hearing with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the administration's strategy in Afghanistan.

The congressman returned to work after a few days in the hospital and helped oversee final passage of the 2010 defense appropriations bill.

Murtha represented Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district in the House since 1974, making him the chamber's eighth most senior member. According to his biography on the House Web site, Murtha was the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress.

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Filed under: John Murtha • Pennsylvania • Popular Posts
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. patesq73

    Rest in Peace Congressman...you fought the good fight. Too bad more didn't listen to you regarding Iraq...you were 100% right!

    February 8, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. political junkie

    wow...another liberal lion of a man who seemed larger than life...RIP

    February 8, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. sierra whiskey

    k a r m a.

    February 8, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Jennifer

    My mother had her gallbladder removed by lapro, was sent home & days later almost died because the surgeon cut her bile duct & didn't realize it. This happens all too often with people dying. Hers was not due to a gallstone tearing it, which can happen as well, it was a clean cut. Think twice before this procedure.

    February 8, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Independent

    People we are all Americans and I for one am tired of both the left and right bickering. An American who has served his country in more ways than one has died. Please stop with the name calling because its childish and non productive. Respect the fallen and Respect the dead! I don't care if A Repub or Dem passes away, SHOW THEM ALL RESPECT!

    February 8, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. boiseguy

    Now there will be one less person flying from the airport he got all that pork to build. That's significant since the Murtha airport only has three flights a day anyway. This can only improve the balance sheet.

    February 8, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Anthony In Miami

    We lose a good man. Let's honor his life by celebrating him and his long tenure in our government no matter your party affiliation. Thank you for your service over so many years. I'm glad to have served in the military under your watch.

    February 8, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Joseph

    Condolences to Murtha's family, friends, and constituents. He took care of the military, and as a veteran, I will miss him.

    February 8, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. political junkie

    Also – regarding the comment that western pa was a 'racist area',
    as a Pittsburgher, I was kind of shocked at the statement, but as the
    campaign continued on, I began to see that what he said was true.
    The racist comments I heard from co-workers, and others in the
    public, really opened my eyes.

    February 8, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. mk, Indiana


    February 8, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Average American

    Now, he and saddam, along with benedict arnold, are finally together again, and forever.

    February 8, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. DAVE

    Far from any kind of supporter
    Couldnt have disagreed more with his politics
    But thank you for your military service to this great country sir
    Rest in peace

    February 8, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Murtha.

    February 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Larry

    From what little I knew of him, I certainly felt he was one of the few people in politics that cared more about the people of this country and the country as a whole, than he did about whether or not he looked good in front of a camera as so many seem to

    A true loss for this country

    February 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Vancouver Canada

    A huge lose for America.

    February 8, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. J. Rochester, NY

    People are saying he was murdered by Glen Beck

    February 8, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Obama Victim

    isn't this the guy who accused our Marines of murdering civilians??....and was involved in multiple ethics violations??...and was in bed with Pelosi?

    February 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. single mom

    I disagreed with many of his comments and positions, but greatly respect and appreciate the dedication and courage he displayed as a Marine. My sympathies to the Murtha family.

    February 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Ouch! I guess there won't be a need to ask him about resigning or changing his position on some issues. My condolances go out to the family.

    February 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Ben in Texas

    The things I will remember about John Murtha are that he fought in Vietnam, vigorously opposed the Iraq war, and was trashed repeatedly by the Repugnant Party. What will they say about him now?

    This would be a great time for right wingers to man-up and admit that Bush/Cheney gave us the worst 8 years since the mid-70's. Besides the never ending Iraq and Afghan wars, they destroyed the economy and shredded our constitutional rights. Many of us real Americans would consider taking conservatives back into the human race if they would admit to recognizing the Bush regime for what it was: the worst presidency in history. Fess-up, wingers. You'll feel better.

    February 8, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Paul from Phoenix

    Thank you for your service.

    Not so many thanks for your crooked ways in Congress. Truly one of the worst pork barrellers of all time.

    February 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. J.Williams san diego

    YES !!!!! except for the fact that one more liberal avoids jail time for corruption.

    February 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. dstay

    My heart does not bleed that this corrupt porker of a rep. has passed away. There is one less crooked politician in D.C. now.

    February 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. An American

    Let's build an airport as a monument to him to remember his service.

    (Oh wait! He already DID that for himself!)

    February 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. D.U.T.C.H.

    I am appalled at some of the comments being made by some of these people on here. And I'm the one who get's stuck in moderation? You may not have agrees with his ideals or views, but the man served his country "honorably" as a combat veteran. How many of you can say that?

    February 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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