Wright, Jim

Wright, Jim (James Claud Wright, Jr.), 1922–2015, U.S. congressman, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1987–89), b. Fort Worth, Tex. Following service in the U.S. army during World War II, Wright was a Texas state representative (1947–49) and mayor of Weatherford, Tex. (1950–54). He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas in 1954. A moderate Democrat, he became House majority leader in 1976 and was named by his colleagues as the most respected member of the House in 1980. In 1987 he became House Speaker, but he resigned two years later amid charges of unethical conduct, having alienated many representatives with his assertive control of the House rules. Wright encouraged negotiations between Nicaragua's Sandinistas and contras that ultimately led to a peace accord.

See his memoirs (1996); J. W. Riddlesperger, Jr., et al., ed. The Wright Stuff (2013).

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