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Public Statements

Announcement By The Acting Chairman

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIRMAN -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2007)


Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Chairman, this past Friday, the great State of Missouri and the country lost a truly distinguished man, Congressman Bill Hungate, a man who previously represented the very seat that I am now privileged to currently occupy passed away.

Bill Hungate was a devoted husband and father. He was a decorated soldier. He was a talented and thoughtful jurist, and a gifted author and musician. But above all else, he was a man dedicated to public service.

After earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri in 1943, Bill answered the country's call at the onset of World War II and enlisted in the Army. He fought bravely in the European theater over the course of the next 3 years, and received numerous decorations and awards.

After the war was over, he returned home and earned his law degree from Harvard and after a short time in the private sector, he embarked upon a long and distinguished career in public service. He started first as a county prosecutor, then was a special assistant for the Missouri attorney general, and in 1964, he was elected as a Member of the 89th Congress, representing the 9th Congressional District of Missouri, and I see some of my colleagues nodding along who served with this great man.

As a Member of this body, he carried himself and conducted our business in a manner that befits this historic Chamber. Many of you may acknowledge or remember that as a member of the Judiciary Committee, his tenure in Congress will always be defined by the Watergate investigation of which he played an integral part. He not only authored one of the articles of impeachment brought against President Nixon, but he also chaired the hearings that investigated and ultimately upheld President Ford's ensuing pardon.

After serving the people of Missouri for 12 distinguished years, he left this Chamber with the same values and integrity that he walked in with. A few years later, he was called again to serve, this time by President Carter as a United States District Court judge, and the indelible marks he left on that institution are still felt today. And my colleague will probably remember the landmark decision of his which eventually led to the voluntary desegregation of the St. Louis county and city school districts.

Judge Hungate was a man on his worse day who was better than most people on their best. He never wavered in his principles, and was a firm believer in the promise of our country. He was a servant in the truest sense of the word.

I hope it is of some solace to his wife, Dorothy, his daughter Katie, his son William and his four grandchildren to know that so many people were affected by his life and are mourning his passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I yield to my very good friend and the dean of the Missouri delegation, the gentleman from Lexington, Mr. Skelton.


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