Jim Wright

Jim Wright James Claude Wright Jr. (December 22, 1922 – May 6, 2015) was an American politician who served as the 48th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 1989. He represented Texas's 12th congressional district as a Democrat from 1955 to 1989.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Wright won election to the Texas House of Representatives after serving in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He won election to Congress in 1954, representing a district that included his home town of Fort Worth. Wright distinguished himself from many of his fellow Southern Congressmen in his refusal to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto. He voted for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1968, although he voted against the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964 and the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also became a senior member of the House Public Works Committee.

In 1976, Wright narrowly won election to the position of House Majority Leader. Wright voted in favor of the bill establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday in August 1983. He became Speaker of the House after Tip O'Neill retired in 1987. In March 1988, Wright led the House Democratic Caucus as Speaker to override President Reagan's veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987. Wright resigned from Congress in June 1989 amid a House Ethics Committee investigation into compensation that he and his wife had received. After leaving Congress, Wright became a professor at Texas Christian University. He died in Fort Worth in 2015. Provided by Wikipedia
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