Rep. John Murtha Dies at 77

Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha died this afternoon at a hospital in Virginia, following complications related to gall bladder surgery he underwent in January. Murtha, 77, had served in the House for 36 years. The first Vietnam veteran elected to Congress and chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Murtha wielded enormous power over defense related issues and boldly sought earmarks that benefited his district.

For more on Murtha, his life, achievements and brushes with scandal, The Washington Post has a comprehensive obit.