Representative John Murtha is dead. The Pennsylvania Democrat, 77, died in an Arlington, Virgina hospital after complications following gall bladder surgery.
Murtha, the powerful chair of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, was a master at bringing pork back home to his district. He was a proud economic populist, often named one of the most corrupt members of congress, and an eventual vocal opponent of the Iraq War.
Murtha was first elected to the House in 1974. He was the first Vietnam veteran ever elected to Congress. Just last Saturday, Murtha had become the longest-serving member of Congress in Pennsylvania history.