John Murtha, Congressman, Dies at 77


Representative John Murtha, the longtime Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, has died at age 77.

His aides released a statement saying that he died shortly after 1 p.m. today at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Mr. Murtha had been placed in intensive care last week after complications from gall bladder surgery, his staff said then.

Mr. Murtha, who had an extremely close relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on defense.

A former Marine, Mr. Murtha, his office noted, was the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to Congress. Throughout his years, Mr. Murtha paid particular attention to defense spending and to the Pentagon and the military.