Thomas Stephen Foley
Foley, Thomas Stephen, 1929–, American political leader, b. Spokane, Wash. A lawyer, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964. Foley became a prominent liberal Democratic member of Congress. He was chairman of the House agriculture committee (1975–81), Democratic whip (1981–87), and majority leader (1987–89). After the resignation of Speaker Jim Wright in 1989, Foley succeeded him. In 1992 his reputation was tarnished by revelations of irregularities in the operations of the House bank and post office, both controlled by the office of the Speaker. In 1994 Republicans won control of the House, and Foley became the first sitting speaker since 1860 to fail to win reelection from his district. He served U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2001.
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