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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 17:00 GMT
Clinton impeacher Hyde dead at 83
Henry Hyde
Mr Hyde was in Congress for more than 30 years
A former Republican Congressman who led impeachment proceedings against former US President Bill Clinton has died in hospital in his home state of Illinois.

Henry Hyde, who was 83, also campaigned strongly against abortion.

Correspondents say that, despite his strong convictions, Mr Hyde was liked by his opponents and seemed to come from a less partisan era in politics.

Mr Hyde was awarded the highest US civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, earlier this month.

At the ceremony, President Bush described him as a "gallant champion of the weak and forgotten, and a fearless defender of life in all its seasons".

Mr Hyde led Republican efforts to impeach Mr Clinton over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from his position as chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.

But he appeared reluctant to pursue the case as vigorously as some in his own party.

His own reputation was damaged when it emerged during the scandal that he had had an affair with a married woman in his early 40s.

Mr Hyde, who grew up in an Irish Catholic family nin Chicago, entered Congress in 1974.

Two years later he introduced the first Hyde Amendment - a provision which opponents of abortion have tried to attach to federal spending bills in order to stop federal funding of terminations.

He was also one of the leading supporters of the 2003 federal ban on partial birth abortions.

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