House Speaker Tom Foley and NFL’s Bum Phillips Pass Away
Thomas S. Foley became The Speaker of The House on June 6, 1989. He promised to treat “each and every member” of congress fairly, regardless of their party affiliation. He passed away at age 84 on Friday. Also, Bum Phillips, the down home Texas football icon who coached the Houston Oilers also passed on Friday at the age of 90.
Bum took over as coach of the Houston Oilers in 1975 and led them to two AFC Championship games before he was released in 1980. Bum was the coach who drafted Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, the running back who was credited with the success of the team.
ESPN had a nice tribute this weekend.
Tom Foley had a nice write up in the NY Times:
His rise came in the wake of a bitter, though successful, fight led by Representative Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, to oust Speaker Jim Wright, a Democrat from Texas, over allegations of ethics violations; one was that he had improperly accepted gifts from a Fort Worth developer. Mr. Wright resigned before an ethics inquiry was completed. a statement, President Obama called Mr. Foley “a legend of the United States Congress” whose “straightforward approach helped him find common ground with members of both parties.”
Another notable fact about Speaker Foley was that despite his long history of opposing any gun control measures, he helped win House passage of a 1994 ban on assault weapons.