Former House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas) passed away last night just months after his longtime friend Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Texas) passed. Both were 92 years old. Speaker Wright hailed from Fort Worth and used his power to help his local area (including a restriction of commercial flights into Dallas’ Love Field forcing airlines to use Dallas/Fort Worth Airport) and also supported New Deal and Great Society programs. The liberal economic populist tradition of some Texas Democrats was embodied in Wright but he also maintained a good relationship with business groups.
He was a fierce opponent of the Reagan Presidency, even engaging in his own diplomacy in Central America which contradicted administration policy which favored right-wing military juntas at every turn. He was embroiled in ethical dilemma’s and was forced to resign in 1989 months before Majority Whip Tony Coehlo (D-California) was similarly forced to resign due to ethical concerns. Full obituary from CNN.
Below are links to two of Wright’s best books about his time in office:
Worth It All (On Wright’s Central American Diplomacy)