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

Congressman, combat veteran Murtha dead at 77

ALT TEXT

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. A True Centrist

    I was never a fan of the man's politics but I certainly respect the years he spent serving our country, both in the military and the House. RIP Mr Murtha, my prayers are with you and your family.

    February 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Navajo six

    He served as a Marine that served in Vietnam, for that I respect him. For his political agenda and dirty deals, well may he rest in peace. You must be able to do four things to be an effective politician. Lie, cheat, steal and tell the masses what they want to hear. He did all and then some like him or not, I guess being a Marine he took it to heart, all gave some, some gave all!

    February 8, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Angie in PA

    RIP Thanks for you service!

    February 8, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Tom C

    I just knew there would be some people on here to cheer his death. YeH!!! one less liberal. These are the crack tea party hotheads. They celebrate a person's death as a way to further their agenda. RIP John Murtha, a true war hero.

    February 8, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. A True Centrist

    "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."

    #1 – Why is this an appropriate to talk about the Bush administration?

    #2 – Although I was not a fan of the Bush administration, you should take a history lesson. He clearly was not the worst President of all-time, although I will give you he is in the top ten worst.

    February 8, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Average American

    I can't believe all the hateful comments. I bet some of you call yourselves Christians.

    I'm saying prayers for the Murtha family.

    February 8, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Bob Wolters Sr

    Who will take over as the King of PORK??

    February 8, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. JGB

    The King of Pork!! No loss to our pocket books.

    February 8, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    What a sorry bunch of republican commenters on this site. Hope YOU get what you wish for others.

    February 8, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. j

    I sorta of like him. It's too bad he's gone but I hope the 12th district gets someone as worthy to represent them.

    February 8, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. kr

    For all the people that want to trash this Rep. just remember if you live in a glass house do not throw stones. To be this callus when he has not even been buried yet shows me that most of you are heartless and cold. I will extend to his family and friends my sympathy regardless of what people think or what he has done. How many veterans responded. Give this man one credit; he fought for this country so we could have freedom and bloggers could express their freedom of speech regardless of how callus.

    February 8, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Lori in St Pete

    Why does CNN filter out negative comments when they're aimed at rethuglicans who are ill or pass away, but when it's a dem, all bets are off? Dan at 2:56 and liberalism is illegal (what a stupid name by the way) at 3:00. Honestly, I don't understand how anyone could believe that CNN is "librul". However, I'm sure if I were to visit the faux noise message boards, the comments that are posted WOULD make CNN appear "librul".

    February 8, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Stacie

    Oh my! Look at all the so called Patriots and Christians attacking a decorated combat vetran who just passes away. You all should run to your nearest church and beg Our Father for forgiveness.

    February 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Independent

    People....repubs/demos alike be careful what you say; for what so ever a man sow that shall he also reap......That includes YOU who spew hurt in the midst of other sorrows........

    February 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. GuyInVA

    I disagreed with his politics, but Rep. Murtha served his nation in Viet Nam and should be applauded for it.

    As for Ben in Texas (of course someone had to use this as a Bash-Bush session), go ahead and claim that Bush was the worst president ever. As long as Jimmy Carter proudly carries that (D) after his name, the democrats will always hold that title.

    February 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. An American

    Ben in Texas @3:20pm

    rotflolol

    Wow! Yours is one of the most disingenuous, disjointed, untruthful posts I have ever read on here.

    You still can't get away from blaming Bush for everything. Get over it. Replace the name Bush with Obama in your post and then you are speaking truth.

    God Bless John Murtha for his service to this country.

    But as Obama's buddy and mentor, Rev Jeremiah Wright would say, "No no no no no!! God D**N Murtha for accusing American service men of wantonly killing women and children!! God D**N Murtha!" -Rev Jeremiah Wright

    February 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. phoenix86

    To bad. Gone before he had jail time.

    Stay healthy Nancy and Harry.

    February 8, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Mark

    Great Congressman.. Rest in peace. I have family member in the Military who respect and admire this man for standing up for our moral and ethical vale.
    People like "Obama Victim" get a life. This man gave his life so you can be safe under your blanket and make dumb comment like you have. Least you can do is say thank you.
    I hope you dont teach your children Hate. Your just full of hate.

    February 8, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Allen

    Can you spot the "Christian Conservatives" making comments? I can.

    February 8, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Megan

    You people make me sick! A man died today! A man who had a family and fought for this country. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, you have to be heartless and void of any human compassion to say the things I have seen on here.

    You represent everything that is wrong with our society and should take a look in the mirror. You might see all terrible things you are saying about Mr. Murtha are staring right back at you!

    Shameful!

    February 8, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. hello!

    Laparoscopic excision of the gallbladder is dangerous. It should be done as an OPEN procedure. Too many times the duct from the liver – the bile duct – is actually transected instead of the cystic (gall bladder) duct.....is this what happened to him??????? Ugh.....what a way to go....

    February 8, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Dear Ben in Texas,

    You continue the liberal diatrabe against George Bush.

    Funny, the latest Rashmussen poll indicates that Obama only 6% polled think that Obama is a better president than George.

    At least George didn't spend his presidency blaming prior presidents for his mistakes.

    February 8, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Average American

    Oh, look. I've got a stalker. Sorry, fake Average American...I honor this vetrans service. Rest in Peace Mr. Murtha!

    February 8, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Independent One

    sierra whiskey: KARMA might come your way as well be careful how you judge someone.......

    February 8, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. hello!

    Jennifer....you are right.

    Laparoscopic excision of the gallbladder is dangerous. It should be done as an OPEN procedure. Too many times the duct from the liver – the bile duct – is actually transected instead of the cystic (gall bladder) duct.....is this what happened to him??????? Ugh.....what a way to go....

    February 8, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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