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Henry Hyde

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Henry Hyde served the 6th Congressional district of Illinois from 1975 to 2007

Henry John Hyde was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 6th District of Illinois (map) from 1975 to 2007. He opted to retire rather than seek reelection in 2006.




Hyde was born April 18, 1924 in Illinois, attended Duke University, graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and obtained his law degree from Loyola University. He also served in the United States Navy and was a lawyer before entering the House.

Hyde grew up as a Democrat in an Irish Catholic family, but by 1952 had switched party affiliation and endorsed Dwight Eisenhower. He went on to become a state legislator and majority leader for the Illinois House of Representatives.

Congressional Career

"A member of the International Relations Committee since 1982, Hyde has been involved in crucial debates about international arms control, the War Powers Act, the expansion of NATO and the congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra affair. From 1985 to 1991, Hyde served as the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, where he worked to ensure that the nation's intelligence community was adequately funded." [1] Most recently, Hyde sponsored a bill to reduce U.S. funding to the United Nations.bill

"Since 1975, Hyde has served on the House Judiciary Committee, serving as its chairman from 1995-2001. During that time, he served as the lead House manager during the Clinton impeachment trial. While a difficult time for all involved, Hyde still believes today that the House was constitutionally obligated to impeach Clinton for lying to a federal grand jury." [2]

Iraq War

Hyde voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

2006 Elections

On April 18, 2005 Hyde addressed the rumors by announcing his retirement after the current term expires at the end of 2006. Republicans nominated Peter Roskam and Democrats nominated Tammy Duckworth to contest the November 2006 election for his vacant seat. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [3] Hyde announced he would be endorsing State Senator Roskam to fill his open seat.[4]


Hyde died at the age of 83. The announcement was made on November 29, 2007 by the office of the House Minority Leader John Boehner. Although there was no immediate word on the cause of death, a source close to Hyde said he underwent open-heart surgery in July and never completely recovered from the procedure. Days before retiring from office in 2006, President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House praised Hyde as a "powerful defender of life" as a leading opponent of abortion and an advocate for a strong national defense. Hyde was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton in 1998. Hyde was survived by a wife and three children. His oldest son, Henry "Hank" Hyde, Jr., died two years previously of liver cancer.[2][3]

Meet the Cash Constituents

Links to more campaign contribution information for Henry Hyde
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals


Extra-marital affair

As Hyde was publicly pursuing the impeachment of Clinton, the Internet magazine published a story about Hyde. According to the story, "This Hypocrite Broke Up My Family," from 1965 to 1969, Hyde conducted an extramarital sexual affair with Cherie Snodgrass. At the time, Snodgrass was married to another man with whom she had had three children. The Snodgrasses divorced in 1967. The affair ended when Snodgrass' husband confronted Mrs. Hyde. The Hydes reconciled and remained married until Mrs. Hyde's death in 1992.

Although Hyde was forty one years old and married when the affair occurred, he dismissed it as one of his "youthful indiscretions."

Executive power

In July 2006 Hyde expressed opposition to a bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit to get presidential signing statements declared unconstitutional, saying, "We do not need more litigation in the courts."[5]

Committees and Affiliations

Committees in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

  • Background information on Henry Hyde from Project Vote Smart
  • Interest group scorecard ratings for Henry Hyde from Project Vote Smart
  • Voting record for Henry Hyde from the Washington Post database
  • Information on Henry Hyde from Congress Merge

Wikipedia also has an article on Henry Hyde. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Articles and Resources


  • Official website
  • Campaign website
  • Hyde's Atlantic Partnership Biography
  • Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database


  • Jack Fowler, "Nowhere to Hyde - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde," National Review (, September 14, 1998.
  • Editorial: "Why we ran the Henry Hyde story," Salon, September 16, 1998.
  • David Talbot, "'This hypocrite broke up my family," Salon, September 18, 1998: "Henry Hyde, the man who will sit in judgment on President Clinton, confirms that he carried out a secret affair."
  • "Henry Cannot Hyde," Democracy Now!, October 26, 1998.
  • David Horowitz, " Tribute to Henry Hyde,", April 22, 1999.
  • David Moberg, "The Real Henry Hyde Scandal," Salon, June 7, 1999.
  • "Henry Hyde's Moral Agenda," Democracy Now!, June 8, 1999.
  • Henry J. Hyde, "Catholics in Political Life," America Magazine, February 17, 2003.
  • Stephen Weinstein, "IL-06: Henry Can't Hyde Anymore," Our Congress, July 20, 2004.
  • "Rep. Henry Hyde announces retirement. Republican congressman to quit at term’s end in 2006," Associated Press (MSNBC), April 18, 2005.
  • "Rep. Henry Hyde to Retire at Term's End," Associated Press (Fox News), April 19, 2005.
  • Colum Lynch, "Bolton Criticizes Bill Withholding U.N. Funds," Washington Post, September 29, 2005.
  • Greg Hinz, "IL GOP hopes to raise $1.1M in fundraiser tonight. Chicago dinner to honor retiring Rep. Henry Hyde," Crain's (Chicago Business), February 13, 2006.
  • Terence P. Jeffrey, Opinion: "Henry Hyde is right -- again,", February 22, 2006.
  • Martin Jacques, "Imperial overreach is accelerating the global decline of America. The disastrous foreign policies of the US have left it more isolated than ever, and China is standing by to take over," Guardian Unlimited (UK), March 28, 2006: "Hyde argues that such is the overweening power of the US that it may not hear or recognise the signals when its policy goes badly wrong, a thinly veiled reference to Iraq. He then takes issue with the idea that the US can export democracy around the world as deeply misguided and potentially dangerous."
  • Dave Andrusko, "Our Leader, Henry Hyde," National Right to Life News, May 2006.
  • Robert Novak, "Henry Hyde's Plea,", May 25, 2006.
  • Lynn Sweet, "Congressional travelers," Chicago Sun-Times, June 15, 2006: "Rep. Henry Hyde (R), the chairman of the House International Relations Committee, or his staffers took 61 private-paid trips worth $149,469."
  • Alan K. Ota, "Few Republicans Back Specter Bid to Curb Bush’s Use of Signing Statements," CQ, July 25, 2006.

Local blogs and discussion sites

  • Philosophe Forum


DC Office:
2110 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4561
Fax: 202-225-1166
Web Email

District Office- Addison:
50 East Oak Street, Suite 200
Addison, IL 60101
Phone: 630-832-5950
Fax: 630-832-5969

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