Henry Hyde: Pro-life Champion

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Henry Hyde was born on April 18,1924 in Chicago, Illinois, USA to Henry Clay Hyde and
Monica Kelly. His family was strongly Catholic and supported the Democratic Party. He was a devout Catholic his entire life. He attended Duke University, graduated from Georgetown University, and obtained a law degree from Loyola University. He served in the Navy during World War II (1939-1945). He remained in the Naval Reserve from 1946 to 1968. In the 1950s, his political views began to shift more conservative. In 1952, he became a Republican and strongly supported Dwight D. Eisenhower for President. In 1955, he joined the Knights of Columbus, and was a member of Father McDonald Council 1911 in Elmhurst, Illinois. In 1962, he first ran for Congress in Illinois’s 11th District and was defeated by Roman Pucinski. In 1967, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and served as Majority Leader from 1971 to 1974. In 1974, he ran for Congress for Illinois’s 11th District and won. As a Congressman from Illinois’s 11th District, he was a strong opponent of abortion. He was the sponsor of the Hyde Amendment, which barred federal money to pay for elective abortions in Medicaid. He continued to have a consistent pro-life voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 until his retirement in 2007. He was named a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 in recognition of his longtime support for political issues important to the Roman Catholic Church. In 2007, he retired after serving 32 years in Congress. Henry Hyde died on November 29,2007 in Chicago, Illinois following complications of open heart surgery. He is interred at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton, Illinois.


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